James, the farm boy, dreamed of playing
pro football – But too bad –
the dream died the day his leg
got caught in a tractor.
Five-year-old bathed in blood.
James, whose four blood-brothers
attended seminary, spent
his Friday eves in smokey bars
and one-night stands. Dozens
of women, hundreds of drinks swirled
in his mind. A woman
on the rag he never knew.
James, too tough for the Army,
joined the Marines
to fight and kill Vietnamese.
Some mysterious accident –
mum’s the word – meant
he never left the States.
James, whose would-be-priest-brothers
all got married and had kids,
decided he heard God’s call
to become a priest most-holy.
He informed his latest fling –
She exclaimed, “But why?”
James, on his knees in church,
begged Blessed Mary’s statue
how he’d pay for seminary.
Gust of wind from an opened
door blew dust-balls
from the Virgin’s bare feet.
She said, “As the dust was blown
away, so your expenses will blow away.”
Ah! A benefactor footed the bill.
James, who wanted to be Franciscan,
found rejection in orthodox Orders.
A newer one made exceptions – men
of conversion should be encouraged.
So, a clean life could begin.
James, conscious of his many sins,
tightened chains around his groin –
became the Father of the 40-day
fast with his daily Lenten Mass.
Nothing but water for six weeks – well,
maybe pureed onions and garlic.
James, who served a parish in Texas,
lasted there one year. He broke
the hearts of mourners with tales
of their loved ones burning;
Preached obedience to kids ’til
they huddled in fear.
James, resolved to be a hermit, told
of the vision. Yes, perhaps
change would be good! The search
for a place of quiet seclusion.
Road trips around the U.S. ended
in the North.
James, chaplain of women hermits,
passed the laundry to spy
piles of white panties
and snatch and sniff worn PJs –
forced confessions of secret
James, who claimed to know
massage – tore off veils to see
clipped hair; pulled down
panties to know
James, who never lied,
answered questions with
questions. He couldn’t get
canned: daily Mass was a must.
Pervert in Roman collar longed
to shed his blood as a martyr.
James, you were holy in your mind,
judging your own confessor,
dreaming of a mistress. In the end,
your life was a minor sport.