It’s not a question of carnal capabilities
      (though the out-of-practice spine does ache something fierce)
but more a matter of spiritual endurance.
There are so many words on the page to be spoken
in that methodical chanting of a hundred people praying together.

This is only my third time at one of these services,
      (not that I really know why I’m here)
and if anyone wants to think down on me because my butt is down,
they should consider more I’d be involved if just one person
would take time to ask where the hell I’ve been for the last two years.

As it is, I inhale incense while inspecting a cathedral that looks
so much different now that it’s not my weekly home.
I once heard there are over five hundred crowns hidden throughout
in decorations and architecture. I want to find them all.

My eyes brush over alcoves holding statues along the back wall.
One is of Mother Mary holding a playful infant Jesus;
the other is Joseph, patron saint of workers, travelers, and dreamers
                                                                    (among many other things)
and sudden tears threaten to gush forth like Jesus’s pierced side.

I need him now more than I ever have, both for the places I’ve gone
and the tantalizing journeys I perilously hope to embark on.
Maybe this is the reason I’m here. Some Heavenly voice found me
amongst life’s gale force winds and is beckoning me forward.

He’d be proud of me, even if I have to sit for a moment.
It takes a lot of care and nurturing to heal a troubled spirit
and I wonder if Joseph ever had to teach Jesus something similar.
Inspired, I get back on my knees.
         Let’s see if I can last through another page.