A Score for Reverend Jack

by Kate Bernadette Benedict

  for Jack Purdy

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Four days a week, he’s sure his prayers are heard.
Three days a week, he doesn’t pray a word.
Four days a week, he knows that Christ is God.
Three days week, he finds the notion odd.
And after days spent bowed before the cross
come days of doubt: it was a dirty loss,
a senseless farce of human double-deals.
But then the Christ inflames him and he kneels.
A torquing, teasing faith it is that fills
Jack’s upturned soul, drains it, fills it, pours
rapture in it, brim-high, till it spills.
Though faith forsakes three days, it bides for four,
or that’s the count his restive mind distills.
On days he doesn’t pray, he keeps the score.

Originally published in the author’s collection Here from Away, CustomWords, 2003

Kate Bernadette Benedict, of New York City, is the author of the full-length poetry collection Here from Away and the editor of two online poetry journals, Umbrella and Tilt-a-Whirl.
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Published 16 March 2010