Posted by: Peadar Ban | April 12, 2010

Desperate Penitents

The next atheist I meet will be my first.
I’ll never meet them in the church
Where I spend a lot of time
Thinking on when I will die
While serving Father Kelley during Mass
For this or that one recently passed;
At other times in the loft singing
While in the middle aisle they linger
Who have no reason, the departed
But not quite gone, not just yet.

I get to watch the faces of the many or the few
Who come to mourn. Or witness who
Felt some obligation to be present
At their last rites. Caught in the moment
I see them mumbling along with the rest
Or glancing nervously around; at best
Ill at ease, at worst in some kind of pain
From all of that unpleasant remembering
Of the stuff they did someone might call sin
Until now, caught inside with “them”, forgotten

Suddenly made clearly apparent
In this foxhole full of desperate penitents.


  1. Hi. I’m an atheist. Nice to meet you.

    • Welcome. Is it Mr Morse, or Mr. C0de? Pleased to make your acquaintance. I suspect neither of us look like our picture, here.


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