I had coffee with the Pope today.
His was a flat white (as you’d expect),
mine was black as humour.
We broke croissants,
both wore sandals,
not a rosary beads between us.
The text on WhatsApp, I thought was a joke,
or Michael Kelly, The Irish Catholic,
flying a kite, ready to redact.
“Paul, forgive my intrusion,
I know you’re no longer one of the Faithful,
I heard you don’t believe.
But I’m in trouble surrounded by Followers
too holy for Salvation.
I need a youth to give it to me
between the eyes,
like David to Goliath.
When I land in Dublin Airport,
should I fall on my knees
and beg forgiveness?
Prostrate myself and be flayed?
Or surround the air with prayers ,
the yellow and white,
the Pioneer Pin,
Maybe a donkey to the Áras?”
bags under his eyes, yellowed teeth, double chin,
coughing up phlegm.
“On Saturday, I’ll feel Ireland underfoot
Ivan the Terrible was born,
Nietzsche died, Armstrong too.
The Holy Trinity was confirmed,
Galileo showed us his telescope.
What have I to offer?”
A desperate man looking for lost family.
I hadn’t the heart to help him.