“How long will it take until Jesus is brought into the conversation?” went the joke.
It usually wasn’t very long.
More than once you pulled out your pint-sized New Testament in the college bar,
And in between sips of Cidona told us about the man himself:
A conversation killer, if ever there was one.
You’d been a bad teenager, you told us:
Drink, drugs, sex and death metal.
(The mix didn’t sound all that bad to me, who hadn’t the space or company in which to be anything but fretfully lonely).
You’d found Jesus and turned your life around, though,
And didn’t you want to tell us all about it?
I always wondered why Jesus required his followers to be so monotonously mauve and predictable,
And why you so plainly and so harshly judged us, even as we politely listened to one Sermon on the Mount after another.
There was a whiny assertiveness to you which I am not sure pre-dated your rebirth, or descended upon you with the world of gifts you received when you found your saviour.
You were cock-sure of yourself — which marked you out from your peers even more than the Jesus freakery.
And now I hear you’re down in west Cork doing the Christian thing, and I’m cock-sure of one thing myself:
If we were to meet in a bar in Ballydehob or a tavern in Timoleague or an inn in Inishannon you’d have that New Testament whipped out before I could say “Cidona”.
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