There are no strangers here;
only friends you haven’t yet met.
~William Butler Yeats
Willie is in the upper echelon of their society
with a roof over his head and a beat-up van
that stays in the church parking lot much of the time.
When he isn’t in his van he’s in the church office
talking with the priest about the issues of life.
Willie can philosophize with the best of them,
keep the conversation deep and honest, open up
about his own struggle to reckon with his losses.
A former music professor fallen on hard times,
forsaken by his wife, he finds a home with us.
When he is discovered for his rich baritone voice
the music director offers him a job singing in the
choir. The white robe hides his ragamuffin garb
except for the shabby sneakers on his feet. But
none can see his grungy shoes hiding behind
the choir loft, though they can be spotted during
Eucharist as congregants file down the aisle
toward Willie kneeling before the broken body
and shed blood, should anyone be paying close
enough attention to such trivial or material detail.