Poems of the Week

Out of Joint

by Steven Urquhart Bell

“Limping Pope Francis arrives in Malta”
—Scotland on Sunday

I thought it was his nickname when I read it,
Like Ageless Archie Moore or Tampa Red,
Then realized it was just a careless edit:
“A Limping Pope…” is what it should have said.

I sort of laughed—not what you’d call stentorian—
Then turned the pages: trouble heaped on trouble.
Interesting times, all right—for a historian;
Not so much while picking through the rubble.

The world could use a period of grace.
If Francis kneels to pray before the rood
Whenever something bad or dumb takes place,
No wonder that the poor guy’s knees are screwed.