I’m parked outside the MFA
and a homeless man
is approaching my car
and I have a dollar in my hand.
I’ve been celebrating the holiday with
a painting I love in the Koch Gallery—
Zurbarán—A monk’s vision of the ghost
of St Francis.
He was my father’s saint
(the great worrier)
He’s mine now.
It’s Christmas again (wasn’t it just yesterday)
the years like thumbing the pages of a flip book.
My father lived to be seventy-eight
that gives me fifteen more Christmas days
maybe one more dog
a baker’s dozen of summers
a couple of cars
or a grandkid or two?
Out the car window
another gray day moves behind me
the empty Boston streets
the trash along the sidewalk
and I realize I am the ghost of St Francis, too
staring back at the world
I’ve already left behind.
Kevin Carey has published a few books and made a few movies. kevincareywriter.com