Washing of the Feet, by Katie Byford

About the Poem


This poem was written by poet Katie Byford during two poetry workshops held at Borough Road Gallery on 4 and 7 November 2013, and was then performed to a large audience at the event Writing Bomberg: Poetry and Voice at Borough Road Gallery on the evening of 7 November 2013.
The workshops and performance event were specially programmed to accompany the exhibition David Bomberg: Objects of Collection, in collaboration with LSBU Senior Lecturer Karlien van den Beukel, and poet and educator Dorothy Lehane.


Washing of the Feet
by Katie Byford

Gold slicks his skin, makes channels from the wooden wrinkles in his hands. When he speaks, his tongue unfurls in silent prayer,   	wooden beams supporting his spine, a golden dome beating over his chest.  How strange it is to think of the thirst in a man’s feet – they creak and bleed with desire. As he kneels, his hands begin to brim with trees and his feet sink into the damp, red soil, soaking and shaking, flooding the ground with light. If I could wander in the space behind his face, I would wash my feet first.


About the Poet

Katie Byford is a member of the Barbican Young Poets and about to take up her place at Durham University to study Classics. She was commended for The Foyles Young Poets Award in 2009. Katie took part in the Young Poets on the Underground scheme.