I tell Mammy, “The church speaks to me.”
I don’t expect tears of joy, the kisses and blessings. I don’t expect to be trussed in my coat, my hat with the ear flaps, my scarf, my mittens and heavy boots until I’m muffled and leaden, a deep sea diver wading among the coral.
Mammy’s heels clip-clop on the cobbles, the sound echoing between staring houses.
It speaks again as we enter the churchyard. At first it’s like one voice, a wind sighing through narrow gaps. But then I hear the many in the one – crying, whispering, calling for help that never comes.
The rectory door bell rings. I shuffle on the step, aching to run but held by Mammy’s joy, her fierce pride that the Lord has chosen to speak to me.
The door swings wide. There’s the black shirt, the white collar.
One look and it’s clear – he knows.