Uncle Wally studies and prays
and studies and prays and learns
all the words he must learn to say.
Until one day he goes to the cathedral.
His alb is too small, he can’t button the neck,
his shoes are brown instead of black,
but he’s so happy that day,
standing on the altar with the bishop,
the angels all around him in the air.
What Uncle Wally likes best is being on call,
like a plumber, knowing what only a plumber knows.
He likes holding babies over the water
and pouring the water over their soft, little heads
and the Holy Spirit pouring out then
in the water and the light.
What he likes is when he stands on the altar
in his bulging alb and scuffed brown shoes
and knows that he is slowly fading away,
he is disappearing.
In the end you can see right through him,
everything, the cross, the candle,
the jug of wine.