Requiem for All Souls

Passing the college at evensong, I go inside

Take a seat behind hushed voices

Candlelight, expectant

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All Souls Day: Let us remember

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He slowly recites their names

Henry, Peter, Hugh – those they’ve known and lost:

But I want to remember you

You, the child crushed as the classroom fell down, brought to rubble

A damaged classroom is pictured after shelling in the rebel held town of Hass, south of Idlib province

You, Aleppo’s son, home and body shattered

You, daughter of Homs, caught by sniper’s fire

You, child of a mother whose weeping knows no end

Let us remember you

Earlier, a flurry of wind prompts a shower of autumn leaves

Amber-red, crimson, gold

Twirling dancing ground-wards

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And now I wish I could wait here, perpetual in this stillness

And hear each of you patiently called by name

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But like the leaves you are too many

Each one once created and singing its beauty now falling, dying, crushed

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Let us remember

And as I remember you

I also remember him:

The one who knows each leaf, each child by name

Not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care

The one who weeps with us, and calls us:

Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin…

Let us remember

Each one that falls goes back to the heart of God

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Let us remember

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