Not far from the city and we’re pulling over
to wait for sheep as they amble up tarmac
for greener pasture, higher ground.
The air makes light work
in mysterious ways: no heat-haze here
now the day’s burnt off – and we’re
away again, the shepherd out of sight.
In the crux of the valley, a tower
and low tiled walls are outlines
of a hermitage; and I’m approaching
again an enclave of a faith
of which I can boast at least
a passing understanding now.
On this day, it’s said, the sky
acquires unusual translucence
for those whose belief allows it.
I can still see your face as,
by tended flowerbeds, the monk
explained how exactly years ago
he looked up through the clouds at God.