Buille na bachaille

A belt of the crozier  (Comhar – Aibreán 2019)

“Our Snake who art in heaven,” *
I used to pray in all innocence
every day at school.

I hadn’t much time
for St Patrick.
I was happy enough with the day off school, of course,
and even better,
I loved the sweets
we were allowed eat on that Special Day,
a dispensation from the lenten fasting.

But as well as that,
apart from my unintentional,
Natural Heresy,
I felt the stories
that came before Patrick
were far better than those that came after.

And another thing,
the priests were always so certain,
so positive,
– which seemed odd to me,
because every time I looked
at a bishop’s crozier,
all I could see
was a question mark.

*[Our Father and Our Snake sound the same in Irish]

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