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By Sarah Paterson
But they kept shouting, Crucify him! Crucify him!
my father called out in his best
wrath of God voice
into the mute congregation.
The candles extinguished
one by one
lifting their scent of deep red pews
and birthday cakes
into the quiet, dark air.
As the Passion replayed itself once more
I crept up the aisles,
turning off the fluorescent lights.
I sat alone on the dark pulpit with the last switch
the Wellington wind howled through
cracks in the ascension window
of the Great War.
The voice of God wrapped itself around me in
in my solitude
it whispered strange comfort.
I heard my father clear his throat
it was time to leave in silence.
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
• Sarah Paterson is completing a BA (Hons) in English and a DipLang in French at the University of Otago. She is 2011 general editor for Deep South, the English department's annual literary publication and works for United Nations Youth and the Otago Museum.