Posted in Words!

Oh Christ

He arrived at the end of the day

Or rather, I did

All was done,

Right through night prayer

The day had been examined and found wanting,

But it was at peace.

Late I arrived at the coffee shop,

The grande one

For a hot chocolate to warm up

A cold evening.

He was there, in an easy chair

Holding a life that couldn’t be easy

Old and cold and wearing a warm knit hat

He extended his hand

as if we see each other daily

(And perhaps I should hope that we do).

He said something indistinct, through thickness

And I responded as indistinctly myself.

I complimented his hat as I awaited the cocoa

And he asked me, he asked me

After a further exchange for a sandwich

“You want a sandwich,” I responded readily

Surprising myself, “what kind?” Ham and cheese, he said, but

Turkey and cheese had the advantage of presence.

I bought it. He accepted it. He offered me “how much?”

I asked him to enjoy it; the chocolate came,

I turned

Toward the dark and the cold and two women

Thanked me for my ‘kindness,’ asking me if I know him,

“I do now,” I offered and I had to smile.

I was lucky he was there, no?

All day at a church, and up the street

He came in blessing to visit me

This winter night.

The Man gets around,

Thank God.

~ JPM 2/5/18


A native of the North Shore of Boston, I currently live on Long Island, New York. I worked at Boston College as the Acting Director of The Church in the 21st Century Center until August, 2010 and served until November 2016 as Canon for Formation, and Dean of the George Mercer Jr. School of Theology of the Diocese of Long Island. I am now Rector at the Church of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in Shoreham, New York.

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