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Our spiritual father
who art gone to Heaven
we see you enter the hallowed ground
through pearly gates.
St Peter mans the turnstiles
ushers you through, uncontested
recognising at once, God’s keeper
a venerated saviour of souls.
Some would have it, that you blocked too many goals –
contraception, abortion, women priests, same sex marriage :
none of them made your teamsheet
nor even the subs bench.
A change of management
might yet see them togged out
and given a run.
But this custodian
brought stability, in a world of change
shone like a candle, in times of dark
and spread enlightenment, like passes, all across the park. *
He kindled political change,
in his homeland
He emphatically embraced the youth of the world
and in his latter years
brought much added respect, to the aged, the infirm.
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At your funeral
the wind flipped the pages of the book of Gospels atop your coffin
may the words of the Lord,
like the doves released from your Papal window in your dying days
and spread across the world, Urbi et Orbi, doing justice to your spirit.
May the message of peace, love and compassion
reach every heart, in every land
and make a poignant pause along the way, in Turin, Brussels and Liverpool.