by Jeffrey Essmann

I didn’t really know the man,
except I always saw him at the 5:00.
He sat in front of the guy
who says the Our Father too fast
and we’d nod to one another
at the Kiss of Peace.

He did a lot with the Little League,
the K of C,
and Mary told me
(over tea, God rest her soul)
that he and she
would count the money from “the Bingo”
(she loved her definite articles).

Like all of us,
he had a tiny life
that grew by those he touched,
and died in his apartment
alone with the Host of Heaven.

Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America MagazineDappled Things, the St. Austin ReviewU.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.

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