St. Francis in Disney World

God is love.

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of God.”

Printed on the T-shirt I’m wearing is “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” It’s from Dog Tired Studio and Gallery owned by our Key West friend and artist Sean P. Callahan. Julie studied under him. You might enjoy visiting his website.

If 45 had a dog and if 45 is the person his dog thinks he is, that dog would think, “I know you would take my pups, overcrowd them in a cage, and then make sure to use the Bible to support you.”

I can hear Jeremiah. And poor Jesus.

St. Francis in Disney World 

The children come up to him, touch
his robe and giggle. He blesses them. They
run and ask their parents to take their photo
peeking out from behind his filthy holiness.
Mickey quietly comes up beside him, his
huge fingers dangling like loaves of Wonder
Bread, tilts his head as if to say you better
leave or take a bath and put on clean jeans.
St. Francis whispers, asking for the birds.
Mickey shakes his head. St. Francis holds
his place in line while each ride spins its
squealing riders round or up or down: a
chug, a plunge, a long and hopeless cast
of thousands, ton of hot dogs, fries, and
pizza, sushi, Coke and Pepsi, pie and
ice cream, chocolate. There are bees.
He has no ticket. He’s told to step aside. He
looks up where the sky should be. He
watches a cat slide under the plastic
elephant. He looks back up. The sky
has gone. The earth has gone. His feet
are sore. His hands are turning into
birds. His hood is filling up with coins.
His beard is filled with bells.

–Jack Ridl

First published in Dogwood

Subsequently published in Broken Symmetry (Wayne State University Press)


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Visit Roan & Black and Cabbages & Kings and Reader’s World to find Jack’s books in West Michigan.

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Click here for Jack’s entire collection, In Time — poems for the current administration.

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And, of course, click here to visit, check out what Jack’s been up to, maybe say hi!


2 thoughts on “St. Francis in Disney World

  1. Oh Jack– I missed this one last week. And am so very glad I saw todays and went backward. Thank you for continuing your vigil.

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