At first, my hero:
The Reverend J. D. Proberty,
billowing cloud on a sit-up-and-beg,
skirts of ankle length
doing nothing to hamper
the prowess he showed
on a bicycle made for trousered men.
To me that argued powers beyond
the human or the practical.
He had been sent by God, I had seen the sign -
but not that, human , he was set to fall.
My chest grew worse in London Smogs
and Dev the Rev
(our two names for him)
He and I. To take the air -
and in the proceess, to
escape the London blitz as well.
An open-ended stay.
All expenses paid.
Umbrage he took
when my parents refused -
but for my grandparents
it marked the end of hm.
He it was persuaded me
to be an altar boy,
but called me sinful, hearing I had drunk
a mug of tea first thing, before
the early morning "mass" -
"Communion" to everybody else.
Sunday School was in the church,
but I was in his class,
which always met
somewhere in the vicarage:
his library, the orchard,
the great lawn or the garden.
In season he would give out windfalls -
though sometimes we'd have had
some apples from the trees.
Once in the church,
peeping through my knuckles during prayers
I saw high up in what we called the transept -
our misnomer for a chapel
tucked behind the choir - perched
in the apex of the intervening arch,
Blake's Ancient one of Days.
It hovered for a while then disappeared.
I told the Father what I'd seen.
He exorcised the transept for our sins.
William Blake's The Ancient of Days is from the Wikipedia Website