Fran was a good employee and a good person
reliable, hard-working, not given to complaint
kind and compassionate but broking no nonsense
worldly without being sophisticated.
if she hadn’t been God denying – emphatically.
She knew of my Catholic education
never making cheap shot
or seeking conflict
elevated eyebrows occasionally transmitting agnosticism .
Annie died aged 38 one Saturday
collapsing after a half marathon
three children left without a mother
all young – very young.
Fran asked if something was wrong
listened without question or interruption
to my grief
to my bewilderment
after a time of heavy, congruent silence
she spoke gently and with love
“do you still believe in God?”