Dominic and the Inquisitors (For Dominic, Priest and Friar)

If we picture him, as so many do,
seated with the red inquisitors,
seeking heretics in each closet,
proud in righteousness and judgment,

we must not silence in memory the man
who fought with truth as his sharp weapon
and never took a place of power
but kept his mouth a flaming torch;

or the humble priest who heard
the Pope sadly declare that no
longer can we say that silver
and gold have we none

knew this to be true; he knew
the stumbling block of bishops’ gold),
quipped that it was also true that
we could not say: Rise and walk.

And if his house upon the hill
was by later brigands burgled
in a quest for holy weapons,
let us still remember this:

the priest who travelled many miles
with his flaming torch in hand
and debated until daybreak
with a burning, reasoning love.

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