The Vatican

A simple pile of bones buried beneath a splendid altar
Causes me to question the need
For white robes of authority.

I know the clothes make the man,
But many a man stood naked
And was clothed in greater glory.

Why must wonder be hidden underground, ages old?
Don't we have the right
To make our moments memorable?

The saints climbed hills worn down by the ages.
Before their time was another time of saints,
And so on in dim order.

For no other reason
Than the simple sense of being
Outcast and alone,
Many a soul has gone to ground.

Saints climbed the hills in ancient days
And looked down on our little town;
Where are they now?

We haven't found a way to turn back time—
Why should we consider anyone the richer
For having squandered his time on piling up gold coins?

Underneath the grandest altar
Lies a pile of unassuming bones,
Belonging to a brave apostle.

The majesty above goes on in all due pomp,
Witnessed by a silent truth below.

©2016 Michael Fraley

Back to Poem-O-Rama