The Pope Visits New York

Lines begin at dawn,
roll miles down Seventh Avenue –
a reverent carpet to evening mass
at Madison Square Garden.

In the Times Square station
subway singers gather
by the tracks, deliver
“Ave Maria.”

The Holy Father greets the General Assembly,
9/11 rescue workers, families,
visits a shelter, school,
receives a book, a doll.

At Central Park,
eighty thousand lottery winners
stand patiently for blessings by Security,
purchase papal puppets, plushies.

Armies of multicolored hands
take aim with iPhones
at the Jeep Wrangler
bubbled with bullet-proof glass.

A street vendor from Guinea praises
the Pontiff with quotes from the Quran.
West Side Jews reread the Francis psalm
translated into Hebrew for the High Holidays.

His Holiness proclaims the unity of humanity,
integrity of creation,
preaches the revolutionary
credo – do not forget the poor —
adds, Remember also please
to pray for me.

Donna Katzin, September 25, 2015, New York City