The Priest.

The Priest.


We never really knew the man, we barely knew the priest

They said he came from Wexford or somewhere in the east

He never spoke of his family or of his childhood days

His past he kept to himself, securely locked away


He was patient, compassionate and always very kind

A scholar and a gentleman, a sharp and brilliant mind

Hurling was his passion and he loved a glass of wine

To the outside world his life appeared normal and fine

He wore a mask of contentment, to hide his bitter pain 

Loneliness at times almost drove him insane

The lack of intimacy and another human’s touch 

There were long and lonely nights when it almost got too much


His struggle with self doubt that felt so very real

His crisis of faith, he could not reveal

Or share with a close friend on how he really felt

Not even to God, at whose altar he knelt


He was on call, every night and every day 

And always ready to dash away

His parishioners kept him occupied and busy

Though Friday night’s bingo used to drive him crazy


They kept him up to date with the latest gossip and news

Invited to every wedding, he could not refuse

At every funeral and christening, he was there

The old ladies doted on him and lavished him with care


That morning he had received a letter

From the bishop on an urgent matter

But his car was contrary, something wasn’t right

He decided to take the train and stay overnight


It was a dreadful night of wind and rain

He was rushing to catch the very last train

He had been delayed due to a sick call

When his car went crashing through the wall


The funeral was well attended, there was a massive crowd

There were lots of speeches and kind words said out loud

They spoke of his good deeds and his faults there were so few  

 The man behind the priest, that no one really knew  


 A stranger came among them, a stranger dressed in black

Standing by the graveyard gates, at the very back

A whisper rippled through the crowd, like a silent wave

A single red rose, she placed upon his grave…..


C Denis Murphy 02 September 2019.


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