The Leader

Painting by Jennifer Elam

He comes The Leader with much applause
and turning of heads and scraping
and bring out the candles and celebrity damask!
(Color the carpet red,
the ride first-class,
the bills paid.
Color his face smiley in the morning papers.)
For He’s here our great our only
our venerated Christian VIP!
So spread the banquet rich and pungent
and politely munch and listen
to His poised and perpendicular words
on world poverty the whole man
healing helping loving feeding
(please pass the shrimp cocktail).
Render to Him His due acclamation.
         And meanwhile gently ignore the other—
the servant the sufferer the lowly lamb
watching in sorrow from behind
the potted geraniums.

Nancy Thomas

Nancy Thomas is a recorded minister of the Friends Church in the Northwest. She has spent most of her adult life serving in Latin America and currently lives in Newberg, Ore. She is the poetry editor of Friends Journal and has published four volumes of poetry.

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