During the Mass of the Last Supper

Pope kissing feet

just outside Rome
the Pope washes the feet
of refugees,

from twenty-five
different countries.

Kneeling down
on his aged knees
he pours water
on their feet

and wipes and dries
their Hindu,  Muslim,
and Christian skin

as Servant
in persona Christi.

He seals the gesture
with a humble kiss
not to the face
but to the feet

and when he looks up at each
face with a smile,
he is greeted by tears

or by eyes gone dry
too long ago
to cry.

In the Mass
he lifts up the bread and wine
and transforms it
into Christ
to be consumed by those

who live the Cross–
counting their selves as loss—

to become balm
for the wounds of the world.


Marianne  Bovée

(Associated Press photo)

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