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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Phone God - John Grey

What does Ruth bring back
from her trip to Vatican City
but a Pope phone card.
She can not only speak to God
but to cousins across the ocean.
The Pope smiles wanly from
his plastic home,
His Holiness trapped in
a secular moment
that not even the beads
his fingers thread
can make sacred.
How he must turn his head
when he strolls by the gift shop
with its Pope postcards,
bottled water with a
St Peter's label that surely
those who buy believe
was personally blessed
by his right hand.
The world intrudes even here.
Sistine Chapel t-shirt to impress
the folks back home...not a problem.
Ceramic angel for the mantel.
Why not buy an entire host.
Well at least they're not selling
Michelangelo foam fingers,
(buy two and watch them touch)
or Last Supper jigsaw puzzle.
Ruth plans to never use that phone card.
Stuffed inside her purse,
it's become an icon.
The more desperate the moment,
the tighter she clutches it to her chest.
A prayer and an answer...
and still all of its minutes remain.

John Grey
has been published in many magazines and journals most recently in Agni, Hubbub, South Carolina Review and The Journal Of The American Medical Association. His latest book is What Else Is There? published by Main Street Rag.

Turin Shroud Image from a negative of a photo taken in 1898 by Secondo Pia.