Formation | Ruth Wells [ANVIL vol 36 issue 1]

By Ruth Wells

Confirmation of conformity
Me squeezed into a too-tight, uptight, cassock-shaped mould,
Hold on – who am I?
Without wanting to wander into the hazy dazed realms of nostalgia,
I remember, I was someone else once.
Formation – anaesthetising the self out of me.
If I keep doing these things, your rituals,
If I stick to the prescription – “take twice a day before meals”
I’ll be formed.
Forged in the fire of the machine.
The machine fed on the same fuel as centuries ago;

Now I’m not saying there are no edges to be knocked off of me,
On the contrary,
I am a multi-faceted collection of rough edges.
I am too much
Too little
Too feisty
Too timid
Too limited in knowledge
Too quick to judge
Too cruel to be kind
Too much
Too much

But maybe just one of these edges might cut through the s***
The same old that holds up the barriers
That stops people in their tracks
That acts like it holds all the answers
That controls power with white knuckles clenched
Entrenched systems
Suffocating, stifling
I don’t fit in
I can’t fit in
I won’t fit in.

Ruth Wells is an ordained Anglican priest and is currently serving her curacy in West Moors (Dorset) and part-time with the chaplaincy team at Bournemouth University/Arts University Bournemouth. She is a poet and is particularly interested in the theological connection poetry brings to heart and head.

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