He felt isolated but knew the ritual,
Had witnessed more than four score
And been a mortician in most:
Other Brothers start singing psalms
With intense if temporary concern
And then file off to have their dinner,
Cerain their brother’s in angelville,
While in the dawn of a moribund mind
Slow realization of imminent planting,
Riding the bed while the sun delays:
Timidly, side-saddle, in pace or gallop.
This infirmarian a pacer and always
Had been from the first old Jesuit
Who gently died in his trembling arms
Moving toward the end in measured joy.
It amused him to guess who would be
First to sack his desk and wardrobe,
Occupy the room and infirmarian’s job
The priest obliged to stay to the end
Knew no prayers for a final smirk.