On Cleaning Out a Friends Refrigerator After His Exile to the Old Priests Home

First thought: man, no wonder he was so skinny.
Second thought: who puts crackers in the fridge?
Third: is a fridge without any beer a fridge at all?
But then I start thinking about the stark geometry
Of his fridge, and how its just like his apartment,
Everything lean and spare and useful and solitary,
Nothing stumbling cheerfully over anything else,
Nothing rubbed up against the completely wrong
Something else. No butter, milk, mayo, jam, fruit,
Ketchup, mustard, ice cream, or mysterious spills,
Though there are various glaring medicine bottles.
Its pretty much water and crackers in here, which
Makes me grin, for you never heard a priest spout
More joyously on the essential sacramental foods
Than he did, bread and water, he would say, wine
If you must, thats all you need, all life is inherent
In these substances, add wine as necessary for joy.
Two thousand miles from here a nurse approaches
To ask him what he would like for dinner, and I
Grin all the way home, knowing full well what is
His answer: a little bread and water, God bless you.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dalí, 1931.
The God who is coming is the God who is already here.
Terrance KleinJanuary 17, 2018
Indigenous people walk past Pope Francis after presenting offertory gifts during the pope's celebration of Mass at the Maquehue Airport near Temuco, Chile, Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis appealed to the Mapuche, who have suffered “great injustices,” to totally reject violence “which can make a just cause turn into a lie.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 17, 2018
Dolores O'Riordan, former lead singer of The Cranberries, performs on stage during a concert in 2007 in Tirana, Albania (CNS photo/Arben Celi, Reuters).
She was Dickensian, if Dickens had written a Gaelic warrior-waif, a hero with a voice that could thrill and comfort.
Cameron Dezen HammonJanuary 17, 2018
Pope Francis dove head-first into Chile's sex abuse scandal on his first full day in Santiago.