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POETRY by Jerome L. McElroy

By February 15, 2005 No Comments
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The Two Sons

From end to end across
the rough-cut dressing table
the angry prelate stacked complaints
papering the pristine vestments
documenting his so-called
“errors of interpretation”
highlighted in crimson ink
like a litany of sins.
“You take excessive liberities
with the sacred word of God.”

The slight emaciated curate
shouldering a thread-bare stole
flashed his blazing chestnut eyes:
“The gospels are the only portrait
of perfection in the flesh.
The exegetes and theologues
have had their chance for centuries.
It’s now the poets’ turn.”

Then he quickly exited
the sacristy sans chasuble
to the usual Sunday throng
spilling in the aisles to glimpse
and touch the dark apostle–
the roar of their “Amazing Grace”
just short of deafening.

Salvation Highway

Drenched by the downpour
the Armani barrister
flagged freeway traffic

long into the night
till a farmer’s battered truck
promised redemption.

He healed the wounded wheel
politely refusing cash.
Stars appeared again.

Before exiting
the Beamer’s driver offered:
“Remember me when

you cruise the Kingdom.”
“I’ll wave you from the shoulder,”
the farmer nodded,

“often before then.
Keep on the lookout. You should
know the drill by now.”

Jerome L. McElroy, Professor of Economics at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, specializes in the problems of tourism development in small tropical islands. He has published poetry in various journals, including The Connecticut River Review, California Quarterly, Midwest Poetry Review, and South Carolina Review, as well as Perspectives.