His brother in law like to josh him
not about being a priest
or even belief in God
more about the range of alternatives
the other banks into which to deposit faith.
There was no malice, friendship longstanding
before Holy Orders there had been last orders
still were, only one couldn’t buy many rounds.
Poverty, chastity and obedience
sister and husband couldn’t do much about the last two
but did take him places
footing the bill
going as a family
children, father, mother and Father
once to an annual carnival.
The two saw the tent simultaneously.
decoder of stars
forecaster of the future.
The priest declined
then without ever knowing why or how
inverted the challenge
his companion loss of faced into a reading.
Long fingers of bone wrap around an offered palm
a shudder and prediction – precise and brutal.
death by automobile on a prescribed day.
both emerge shaken and silent
neither mention it again.
On the forecast date
succumbing to should know better ill ease
the brother-in-law stayed at home.
Inside. All day.
In the early evening a motor vehicle accident
one fatality – time and place intersected exactly with his life.