To a priest from Kaduna

by Robert Bové (Sept. 2007)


For Father Stanley


Why did you come?

Why walk these bluestone sidewalks,

our streets crowded with Audis and Infinitis

our gardens planted to attract butterflies?


Why didn’t you write?

Should have sent pictures of schools, of clinics

that needed our money—

we would have responded.


Why, instead, did you frighten us

with tales of bombed churches,

priests gunned down in hospitals

parishioners mowed down in their pews?


Why did you say those things

so quietly

that even the lectern mic

struggled with your words?


And, now,

now that you are gone

how is it

we want you back?


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