‘Isla and Baby Jesus’ by Andrew Rudd


you were only two and you didn’t know
the little wooden peg you held

that you lifted so carefully out of the little manger
in the nativity set was God

but you held God with such gentleness
and showed God all the trees and you bent low

to your hands so that you could nearly
touch God’s face and then placed

God in the manger of my hands
the cradle of my fingers

like a wafer like a promise
like grace
(Highly commended in the Manchester Cathedral Competition 2015.)
Andrew Rudd lives in Cheshire. He teaches poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University and was one of the Aldeburgh Eight in 2015. He is the author of One Cloud Away from the Sky.