A monsignor flies over priests,
like a blue jay defending its nest,
a principal his schoolchildren,
a hunter his hounds at the fox kill –
the master hunter astride his horse,
his hands in white gloves.
In medieval times they hailed a fox
a beast of the chase, the pursuit
a thrill, only stopped if the prey
went to ground – then the master’s
proud horn sounded, to point hunters
to another field, another fox.
The master hunter sported a uniform
of scarlet jacket with four crested
brass buttons, white skin-tight breeches,
dress boots to the knee with no laces,
and a hunt cap with black ribbon
sewn to hang down to his back.
A monsignor may wear a red-trimmed
black cassock with purple sash, or
perhaps purple cassock for solemn rites.
And he may send a priest from one
church to another, to lead altar boys
in sanctuary duties, and beyond
to other rooms and indoor spaces
where a fox would feel as trapped
as when underground. Though a fox
has fled to be alone, to escape
its hunters, and is able to breathe
more quietly, in freedom.
© Lavinia Kumar
House arrest denied for convicted Pa. monsignor
Lavinia Kumar lives in New Jersey. Her poetry has appeared in several publications, in the US and UK. She writes a blog for her brother’s seniorsmagazine.org, based in Portsmouth, NH.