a poem by Mickey Mahan

if I had to guess I’d say

Padua was in Italy because
Anthony is an Italian name
so St. Anthony must be some
peace loving paisan who
performed a miracle or two
a long time ago

which makes it odd that
St. Anthony of Padua Church
sits in the heart of an African-
American neighborhood known
as Murder City where the only
miracle is survival and there’s
more rasta than pasta

who the hell do you suppose
goes to church here maybe
that’s why those fake Christmas
candles in the rectory windows
look like Salvation Army specials
speaking of salvation the folks
around here’d be happy not
to duck bullets walking
to the corner store

sainthood’s a funny business
resist the ways of the world
keep your nose clean rise
above your circumstances
raise your heart and mind
to God sing praise perform
some miracles and you get
a church named after you
that would have more luck
peddling barbequed ribs

than the body of Christ

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