Not our Name
Francis was not his real name:
The other lads called him "Frenchy"
(It was his mother's land and tongue) -
Francesco, Franziskus, Francis:
The saint's name echoes now
in many tongues, in myriad lands,
echoes even in Rome,
upon the chair of Peter -
an unlikely place, indeed,
for this Little Brother, advocate
of poverty, opponent
of all pomp and power.
Fragile in faithfulness, most of us,
we admire Francis from afar,
do not embrace the leper
give the shirt off our back
to any passing beggar.
Saint Francis had no 401(k),
but we check our balance
of stocks and bonds more often
than we sing to Brother Sun or Sister Moon.
Fragile in faithfulness,
Francis is not our name, either,
but still our hope, our inspiration,
our troubling troubadour of truth.