Sacred Solitude

I had thought the tangible empty
the tingling hint the yearning
for palm to palm – an absence
but I begin feel a whisper
Your whisper across my palm
where no other hand will fit,
no other can remain,
in intimate embrace
others feel Your grasp in
the clasping hands with an other, but I –
am I destined for a different
kind of intimate?

not sex not tawdry not ‘in love
with God My Saviour’
this taking hand in hand
this different
I have known much longer
than admitted
without name without voice
for what was clouded before
the forced withdrawal this fogged
fatigue demanded cleared
the way and now as once before
in darkness here we are
here with me You are here
the only one I never
turn away and is that not
the intimate, are You not
the one to hold my hand, the one
who will bear witness, and it has taken
me till now to truly shed
the story I’ve been told
that in that place can only
stand a human?

I hear another story
Hildegard, Julian, Thérèse
tell me another story of being one
whose hand is held by
Holy hand – and by no other
tell me now my story so that I
can feel the whisper
on my palm as Presence.


Sarah Agnew is a storyteller, poet, and Uniting Church minister currently in placement with Canberra Central Parish. Her poetry and liturgy appear in Wild Goose Publications as stand-alone e-liturgies, and in edited anthologies as weekly prayer-poems at Pray the Story. Her most recent published poetry collection is Hold Them Close (Resource Publications, 2018). She lives and works on Ngunnawal country.

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