Speaking of Heaven
James, a priest for forty
years, feigns surprise,
replies How strange!
No, he cannot say he
has ever preached a sermon about
He drains his glass of burgundy,
to pat his
find it has quietly left the room.
Anne, one of his faithful flock,
what Heaven is like, a place where
for lifelong labour is to sit
around and chat
with everyone you knew in
Your neighbour with his
drumkit? James asked.
It’s all right, she says, God lets
That evening, James sits up late,
into the dying fire in the
his stick, unhooks his crumpled
coat. A long while
afterwards, he returns. Tired
at his dog who, unnoticed, wandered
and however much James called his name,
would not come back.
If you have any comments on this poem, Diana Brodie would be