Tall, deliberate, serious,
well it was church after all, and he
a senior cleric.
Reform is in the air,
but change yet to come.
Distant and alone, always looking as if
he was looking at something he didn’t like
He didn’t live many years after I first encountered him
passing from memory and vocabulary.
after his death
death and reform arose in another context –
the death penalty.
A leading researcher quoted the deceased priest
for enlightenment and abolition.
The place of executions had been in his bailiwick.
it was his ministry to counsel, to pray, to hope for absolution
And if not
when the end came
they often asked him to accompany them –
until and including the very end.
He thought “ no,” inhumane and unthinkable, so did.
It was awful he told the archives
it left anyone involved a shadow of themselves.