Outside the church after the Sunday service after singing in the choir Judith followed you out of the vestry into the daylight amongst the gravestones at the back of the church where she stood looking around her with you at her side you oughtn’t to have done that she said what? you said put that button in the collection box when it came around the choir stalls I left my collection money in my coat pocket you said but a button she said better to have put nothing in than that a black bird settled

on the top of a gravestone nearby then flew off you’re right you said I ought not to have put it in I’m sorry it’s not me you have to say sorry to Judith said it’s God whom you defrauded she turned and looked at you with her big blue eyes and that look she had when she was disappointed anyway she said I still love you despite you defrauding God of his collection pence come on you two her sister called from the side of the church aren’t you coming home the bus will be here soon ok we’re coming Judith called back her sister and yours disappeared

and you said I don’t deserve you or your love no you don’t she said but there you are when can we ever choose whom to love we either love or we don’t and I do and she kissed your cheek and took your hand and you walked by the gravestones along the narrow pathway by the side of the church and I love you too you said softly walking through the midst of the buried and dead.

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