• Ancient Paths


by Sam Hickford

(March 2020, London)

When I led her into that church (towards a sanctuary strangely weighted with icons), I knew - unconsciously - I was a leading a more difficult Christ. More difficult - definitely - than the bishop, who traded us a score

of blessings, for a loaf of gluten-free bread. Even that bishop lovingly accepted that terrible gift, and managed not to judge this ramshackle place, or ossify a grudge

against the squatters in his property. That was before. Now, a doctor hieratically bears a face-mask, from which she dishes absolute rulings, condemning men to hotel-rooms

or this coronavirussy half-privacy in which Communion is the heresy. This sacred truth she endlessly relates by accident, as they lurch forward for their fate.

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