Sunday with Julian

She consoles me as I meditate
before Mass—Julian of Norwich,
that is, who says, “We are clothed,
wrapped in the goodness of God.”

And she consoles me after Mass
when I drive home to the friary and
pass two prostitutes who are sitting
on folding chairs next to the curb
helping each other with makeup.

And that evening, too, when I go
to Frisch’s for a Big Boy and fries,
and a boy’s talking to his girlfriend
in the booth next to mine—talking
and talking—and his girlfriend’s
eyes say she just wants to hold him
and quiet him—and he keeps talking
and her eyes keep trying to say,
Let’s leave.
And when I leave, he’s
still talking, “You know what I’m
saying?” and she’s still trying to
subtly persuade him they should
leave and then I’m walking behind
a middle-age man, a son helping
his older mother to the car, and ahead
an older man’s walking with his pregnant
teen-age wife and she’s smiling as he
talks and eats an ice cream cone and I
think, the Mass still isn’t over.

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Sojourners Magazine November 2008
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