To Marie Dolan, a Registered Nurse in Search of Historic Jesus

O you have to be good, you have to walk
on your knees,
she thought, moving to the
center section painted blue, saved for pilgrims
at L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal. Such
dedication! It was 1979. Six years
after Brother André’s heart was stolen and
returned, three years prior to beatification
28 years before Pope Benedict XVI approved
Sainthood. I should celebrate the day
Marie thought as she descended the stairs of her
apartment on Kilmarnock Street. She
was alone, retired. Boston (2010) she felt
was home even if the church had de-
clined so drastically, with the exception of
St. Cecelia’s. In the cinematic October sun, she
wished, akin to Annette
Charles in the film which proves it
is all true, to shout jubilantly:
He’s coming, the one called Jesus!
He’s coming, the man from Nazareth!!

because Jesus must be on his way if
Brother André was made a Saint. She
reached Boylston Street, entered a fast
food joint ordered Value Meal
No. 4, Filet-O-Fish sandwich no fishnails.
When the girl laughed, everything was ruined.
That bitch crazy a boy at the grill said under
his breath, unleashing Marie’s wrath on that assembly
of the faithless. She muttered her worst phrase:
Crisse de câlisse de tabarnak, appalling to
say in Québec.

                        It had no effect. She invoked Annette
Charles, who’d thrust a better insult at such heathens:
You think he’d heal the likes of you? Hah! and stormed
out, examining the meal for bones later, alone
in her efficiency kitchen. Dismayed at how this day
had turned sour, the crumpled mayonnaise-covered
bun left over, she napped in solitude & dreamt
of Montréal.

Theodore Bale is a critic, musician and journalist in Houston, Texas. His writing has appeared in Houston Chronicle, Boston Herald, Cambridge Chronicle, Dance International, ART LIES: A Contemporary Arts Quarterly, Contact Quarterly, Bay Windows, Dance Chronicle, and other publications. He is the author of the blog, Texas, a Concept, published online by Arts Journal.

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