Father Joe (Doggerel #3)

(This began as an authonomy flash poesy challenge. The theme here was unheard history so I decided to offer up a bit of counterfactual verse, imagining what might’ve happened if a particular political figure had followed his original career plans. This might benefit from a bit of a polish but I need to abandon it for now.)

FATHER JOE

Scolding the parishioners at the village fete,
Sneering at the contents of the collection plate,
Preaching fire and brimstone at the Dormition feast
There’s something not right about ourp parish priest,
He sets a chill in our bones like the Siberian snow.
And there’s something not right about our Father Joe

As this pocket martinet with the autocratic bent
Chastises his congregation for overlooking lent,
Even the Bishop can see he made a clerical error,
In setting off this bully boy on his reign of terror,
But he mutters into his omophorion, because he mustn’t let it show,
That there’s something not quite right about our Father Joe

As he spits out the words of a biblical text,
He always looks resentful and sullen and vexed,
Attending to an ecclesiastical matter,
In a tight fitting cassock that doesn’t flatter
Him, he dreams of a mantle with an episcopal flow,
There’s something not quite right about our Father Joe

Does he hold out for more than hebdomadal mass,
Preaching damnation to a Sunday school class,
And judging cakes at the parish summer fairs,
It’s all so intensely bourgeois, not that anyone cares
He’s not getting any younger, soon there’ll be no time to grow,
And there’s something not quite right about our Father Joe

The churchgoers know they should stay in his good books,
Or else they’ll fall victim to his withering looks,
Or worse, end up victim to one of his purges,
Of young men of the parish confessing carnal urges,
If they err from the path of righteousness, they’ll come to see, apropos,
There’s something not quite right about our Father Joe

And you might start to wonder if it was ever thus,
For this angry young man from the Caucasus,
When he became a doyenne of the Orthodox Church,
Was it the right place to end his vocational search?
If he was meant for something else, he must surely never know.
But there’s something not right about our Father Joe

That he’s a man of the cloth is unsettling and galling,
How much better for us all, if he’d missed his calling,
And how much happier now our lives would be,
If they’d kicked him out the
seminary,
But we’re stuck-alas!-with the status quo,
And there’s something not quite right about our Father Joe.

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