top of page

A Poem by Donal Mahoney: "All Aboard"

All Aboard

Next to me on the train

going home to the suburbs

is another guy stuck in a suit

reading his paper,

a normal-looking guy

who suddenly says

it’s terrible, what’s happening

in Syria and Iraq,

terrorists killing people.

Then he says if he believed

what the terrorists believe

he wouldn’t care either

whether he died in battle.

If 77 virgins were waiting for him,

he’d be happy to die

a martyr for the cause,

but since he’s an atheist

he knows no one is waiting.

Then he looks at me

and asks if I'm a believer.

I’m a lot bigger than he is

so I say I’m a Catholic,

and he says if he believed

what Catholics believe—

that Jesus Christ,

the Son of God, is in a wafer

waiting in that little house

in the middle of the altar--

he wouldn’t walk into church,

he would crawl up the aisle

every Sunday and lie there,

face down, praying.

He asks if I get his drift,

shaking his paper.

I say I certainly do, but

Catholics know what they have

and don’t like making a scene.

It’s in their genes from the time

they spent in the catacombs

praying not to be killed.

He says he understands

the importance of propriety

but says if Christ is God

and is on that altar, how can

Catholics just sit there,

mannequins in a pew,

standing and kneeling

once in awhile to avoid

clots in their legs.

I agree that’s a good question.

Finally he yells,

loud enough for all to hear:

For Christ’s sake,

the next time you go to church,

act like he’s there

and do something!

He shakes his paper again.

The train rolls on

and there’s a loud moment of silence.

The man has a point, I say to myself.

Finally I say I’ve enjoyed talking

and have learned a lot

but the next stop is mine.

I have to get off.

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page