Season's Greetings

limping
cannot lessen dignity
in the old
aristocratic archbishop's six foot frame
a thin silhouette:
fedora to footwear
against the blowing snow

"good morning, cardinal"
"good morning, father"

frail breath-birds hover
fleetingly
above the frozen crosswalk,
then are gone

the elder
chancery bound;
free soup ladled to street poor
the younger,
in purple jacket
faded blue jeans
red and yellow
stocking cap

cleric, clown
prince, prophet
crying peace
up and down the ages

shuffle steps and cartwheels
scrawling
season's greetings
in fresh snows

Mary Joseph Maher, I.H.M., was coordinator of missions for the I.H.M. Sisters of Monroe, Michigan for 10 years, working in Africa, Latin America, and on U.S. Native American reservations, when this poem appeared.

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