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Stained Glass Manna

Thursday, 14 April 2022  | Sam Waldron


Upon viewing the sacrament windows at St Luke’s South Melbourne


This is my body broken for you,

burnt when you were totting about at three,

purple-skinned puzzle

of the amateur pseudo-historian

gazing recklessly in Grade 3 at —


This is my body broken for

the lunatic lollipop lady

handing out sherbet bombs at Christmas,

tingling an explosive advent onto the tongues

of the young soon-to-be transient diaspora —



This is my body.


This is my body broken for

you, old man, sitting stapled proud

in your faded-red creaking armchair

defeated in the old utilities;

settling into the frailties of new classifications

and the strength of my; this; our: your body.


This is my body broken for

you, beloved, with your bowels curling on a lino-blue chair:

the psychedelic schizophrenic grandmother of nine

who hobbles through beige hallways:

the boulevard of the resurrection —

This is my body broken for

the prisoner, plucking lice

note by note

from his precious pillow,

twinkling them into a receptacle

that long ago held the ice

of a prodigal summer swansong —


This is my body broken for

the maimed gentile swimmer

coursing her gymnasium; pumping

weighted water against the tide

of the moon's masculine face.


This is my body broken for

the fractious local fascist

exiling the common communist

who lies in cahoots

with the corralling tongue of the capitalist

with a capital ‘I’;

with a Listerine license

to kill-my-some-body:


In the minty bleak midwinter

this is my body!


This is my body broken for

the dismembered,

the never-remembered

melody in the middle of

the You and the I


This is my body broken for

the Great Schism

and the next schism

and the secret schism

in your prefixed-suffixed heart,

desperate utterance

of a shattered start —


for all those in part apart: 

This is my body, broken for you.


Sam Waldron teaches Literature at Bayside Christian College and is a passionate supporter of the faithful writing of our youth. He is part of an ensemble of bards who meet quarterly at St Luke's church in South Melbourne. He is currently studying for a Master of Theological Studies with the University of Divinity.

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