by Ron Yazinski
From the hard lines of Cimabue and Giotto
To the Orthodox icons,
They all look so serious,
As if the game of salvation is such a strain.
They have the eyes of the prematurely old ballplayers
On the baseball cards I had as a kid.
I’d like to know their stories,
Just like I wanted to know how to become a Dodger.
If it weren’t for the laser security system,
I’d turn the portraits over
And check if there are brief biographies
On the backs of Michael and Gabriel,
Like those on Koufax and Drysdale.
What universe are they from?
What eon did they break in?
In what minor choirs did they spend a century or two
Perfecting their raw talents,
Before they made it to the show?
I’d like to study their statistics,
Like their career wins and losses against the devil.
Did they ever set any records,
Such as the most consecutive souls sent to Purgatory?
How many centuries were they guardians before quitting,
And how did they know it was time?
Were the wings the first to go,
Too often arriving an instant after lust;
Or did their eyes fail them, from winking so much at things
Like eating meat on Friday and adultery?
Or did they simply lose the fire in the belly,
And the game was no longer fun?