Back to poetry index

Texting God
 by Edward O’Dwyer

Edward O'Dwyer comes from Limerick. His first book of poems - The Rain on Cruise's Street - was published in 2014 by Salmon Poetry. It doesn't include this poem which I found and liked on the section of Carmel Doherty's website devoted to the ‘To Be Or Nought To Be‘ Art-Poetry exhibition, a collaboration between Clare-based poets and artists. I'm grateful to Edward for permission to reproduce it here.

I came by God’s number
in the cubicle of a filthy pub toilet,
crudely scrawled on the inside of the door.

His message saw into my soul,
asking “Are you feeling all alone?”
and it was only when He asked it
I realised I was.

Knowing I’d have questions,
God etched “Call me!” into the wood.

I added Him to my contacts,
gulping with guilt
at the inner admission of how long
we’d been out of contact.

All that time I’d not even thought
about God, I suddenly realised
I’d missed Him intensely.

I did want to call,
but instead spent evenings
staring at the name and number.

What would I say to Him
after all these years?

I thought maybe a text would be better,

so I typed it up,
my fingers slow with the words,
as though carving them
in stone slabs.

“Hi God. Got your message.
You’re right, but what should I do?”
Message sent.

I waited for God’s reply,
but three days passed and nothing.

Getting no text back from God
isn’t like getting no text back
from the girl you’re mad after.
There’s always other girls you’re mad after.

I tried sending it again.
Maybe there was a technical glitch.
Something up with the network.

I wondered if God was out of credit.
Had I taken the number down wrong?

I was feeling more alone than ever.
Text me, God,
text me, I thought.

Tell me to fuck off if you want.
Tell me you don’t care,
just let me know you’re there.

I was doing okay, God,
living in denial of you.
I don’t think I can go back to that.

Are these your mysterious ways?
© Edward O’Dwyer

                                                             Next poem, Babe in the Wood