Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ordinary Time—New Poem, Blame Murfin

Ordinary Time/Winter Without End
February 2014

The Catholics got this deal—
I think I got this straight—
they call Ordinary Time,
a time of nothing special
in between the big deal seasons
and those Holy Days of Obligation,
especially Easter, but a bunch of others , too
when the rank and file are supposed to show up
and get their tickets to heaven punched.
I think I got it straight—
my wife will correct me if I’m mistaken.

            Don’t get me wrong,
                        stuff goes on in Ordinary Time,
                        they open the church doors
                        and every day a mass or so is dutifully said,
                        all the little darlings go to their classes,
                        committees meet,
                        bulletins and collection envelopes
                        get mailed.
                        You know, the usual stuff.

            But the Priests leave their finest threads,
                        hanging in the closet,
                        a sort of holy fatigues
                        are the order of the day.
                        They are even green—
                        which in years when St. Paddy’s Day
                        doesn’t fall in Lent—
does that ever happen?—
must come in handy.
The old ladies line up for Communion
in sweat pants and don’t give a damn.

            It’s Ordinary Time right now.
                        Which got me thinking—
February is Ordinary Time
for the rest of us,
            the apostates,
                                    and damned.
Stuff’s goin’ on,
            and we just shuffle along
            waiting for Mardi Gras.

—Patrick Murfin

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