Almost every sized church has them –
acolytes performing sub-divine
custodial functions –
they did for many years
with dedication, devotion and piety.
A career defector in my 40’s
a refugee from ceremony,
faith prefers low-key weekday to high Mass Sunday.
Possibly it was the backpack –
imagination imagined a burglar’s sack in disguise
or the dishevelment, of weather, sweat and cycle helmet
was classified shifty.
Perhaps it was verisimitude – I looked like ….
or was reminiscent of …
They kept an eye on me – a very human eye
one that followed, vigilantly, hopefully, perhaps.
Once in an artefact lined side chapel
she stood half metre behind – to the left
at 45°, there he was – reinforcements if needed.
I stopped going, felt tainted, marked
someone found not guilty rather than innocent.