I took God with me camping

by Esme Partridge

I took God with me camping.
Here God- this is a tent.
It leaks;
round raindrops soak our bedclothes
and we wake up with wet toes.

This is my dominant friend,
ordering the poles,
when she doesn’t know what the hell she is doing.
You made her God.

These are my wellies.
Thank you for the gift of these
and for the provision of money to buy them.
When I camp, they are
(dare I say it) a God-send.

God, these are portaloos.
They are crap.
Yesterday’s grass stains, mud clumps
and only you know what else,
litter the hollow floor.

God, this is a zip.
It is the only thing standing
between a thief and the contents of my purse.
My dominant friend declares,
with hands on hips,
she knows who did it.
She has no more clue
than the rest of us penniless sods
staring down at open suitcases.
But someone did it God.
They are one of six thousand
on this campsite,
spending my change on doughnuts and coke.
‘The Prodigal Son’ springs to mind,
but God, that lesson
is one of the hardest to learn.
Besides, forgiveness is not one
of the ten commandments and
Thou Shalt Not Steal
is number 8.

I know you didn’t make our tent,
the loos or zips…
but why did you make all this rain?
Even my dominant friend
calls on you God
when she sees the state of the sky.

But now it is eleven pm
and the dark that you called night.
This is a thermos flask:
hot chocolate- would you like to taste?
This is a woolly hat, a hoodie,
wellies that I haven’t removed
since Thursday.
These are four folding chairs,
arranged in a neat circle.

And above us, God, are all your stars.