The narthex of St George's Anglican Church, Baghdad, Iraq, February 2003


The flowers in the baptistry
window of S. George's Church
Baghdad, wait for
Samia to come
with a pitcher of water,
and she, in the sacristy,
quietly waits for the Eucharist to

While the automatic
rifle of the soldier
awaiting orders on the hot deck
of the Aircraft Carrier
President Andrew Jackson,
is taken apart yet again
and cleaned
unhurriedly, meticulously
he, using up as much time
as possible.

At the very time when children,
(Karima 2) in an
Iraqi schoolyard, wait
for the bell to
resume classes, the
study of their beloved

Winter people await
the slow coming of spring;
in the southern hemisphere
they rue
the high cost of fuel,
wait for a mild winter if
they're lucky;
the negotiators, wait
to hear the nuance, the slightest
hint of change
towards agreement

the watchman waits
for the sight of dawn. Is
not the coming of daylight
a sure thing?

Life waits for love,
and the Lover waits
for an answer, a
smile, and the beloved
looking again in the
mirror, is
and the world waits
for a freshened remembrance,
a nosegay,
of the beauty of

        Harold MacDonald
        February 2003


This poem was written by Harold MacDonald, an Anglicans Online reader in Canada, after he saw the photos of St George's Church in Baghdad, taken by Bishop Pierre Whalon during his visit there in February 2003, just before war broke out. (If you've not seen the photos
 or read Bp Whalon's report, you might like to do so.)