World Poetry Day: Poet Glynda Winterson
Below, Glynda shares her feelings on faith, writing and ‘The woman who wasn’t healed’.
I did not connect this loss of faith with the ongoing grief and debilitating stress of the circumstances that I was experiencing. I was surprised when the woman in this poem made her appearance and seemed to attribute her problem with faith to having experienced a grief that had bled it dry.
When a poem arrives in my mind, it always seems to write itself. I ‘hear’ a phrase or a sentence apparently from nowhere and know I must note it down. Then amazingly more words and images follow it as if from nowhere, and I find that I have the first draft for a new piece of work. It seems to have a life of its own, independent of me.
The woman who wasn’t healed
I tunnelled towards him through the crowd.
Touched the edge
of a cloak as frayed as my life.
I gripped the dusty hem
between my thumb and forefinger.
That’s how close I came.
He looked down
and he understood and this
was the miracle I needed most.
I couldn’t hold on to him.
There was an issue of grief bleeding
belief dry. He knew
I couldn’t follow
as they all moved on
and he disappeared with his disciples.
But a knot of faith
came away in my hand.
I knelt by the road all night
unpicking the implications.
I’ve wound this one thin strand
around my finger like a ring:
My treasure, all that’s left of him.
I shall wear it to heaven.
He will remember me
When I come into his kingdom.
Glynda Winterson, used with kind permission