The Priest and the Young Showman

the actor
waits in the
airport terminal
flight comes in at night
people pass
laugh and stare
together and
bless the night
Enter the preacher
against the sinking sun
breathing deep
he’s dressed in black
Says he’s from
the church of
St. James
with a thick gold chain
and a Stetson hat

Preacher says
I knew a man
once looked like you
Actor says
I ain’t
from the ministry
The preacher says
as he checks his watch
this kid’s a star
I knew from the streets

The actor had a plane to catch, but the preacher knew
“It’s an airport man, no one’s here too long.”
“I’m still a kid,” the actor said, “and I’ve got to move.”
“Well then,” preacher said. “We’ll see how fast you move, and if you last long. And we’ll see how far you get once I’ve gone.”


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