Crack in the Church Wall

by Jack Leonard

There are sixteen windows in church; four of them are stained glass, the rest are opaque, insinuating trees flickering in two dimensions whilst the breeze plays in three with the bark and leaf and boughs beyond. By my pew, a crack runs through the beige paint and plasterboard, plunging diagonally downwards from the corner of the windowsill; I imagine a canyon deep and wide; a chasm crossing a sacred plane, etching its way through the concrete to the temple of sky outside. Having finished his homily, the priest prays, eyes closed, face heavenward and slouching back propped up against the wall of the church. His face is lined; he is annoyed at the elderly man that groaned as he delivered his final sentence; his coup de gra├že. Some of the congregation glance furtively at the old man, now checking his hearing aid and smiling. I follow the zigzagging course of the crack in the wall; it starts with me, takes in the tree and rests at the old man’s bending knee.


Jack Leonard lives in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, with his wife and two daughters where he runs nature-connection services and writing workshops in the great outdoors. He's lived in other places too but mainly inside his head. Writing is a way of stopping it from getting too crowded in there. His first published work, Dark Inscription, is available on Kindle. For more, stop by The Lighthouse at the End of the World.