Dressed up, sealed in, the world excluded,
Princes of the Church, secluded;
I suppose they sit in chapel
arguing who's fit to grapple
with corruption, who can handle
uppity women, priestly scandal;
but God knows how they'll really pick
a Pope to follow Benedict.
Spin the chalice, pass the dalmatic
musical statues, hunt the relic,
pin the tail on the priceless fresco,
all-in combat roller-disco?
Or maybe they'll decide it's better
to go for the chap with the biggest biretta.
Eventually, they'll pick some bloke
and never let on what they smoke.
© Gwen Seabourne
Legal historian and casual poet, Gwen has had work in various magazines and
collections, and on BBC R4's Poetry Please.
Dr G.C. Seabourne, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Bristol.