The Patron Saint of Abundant Cigarettes
hunkers down under the cardboard bin
in the alley behind Butterfly Herbs
where offerings are made to them 24/7,
in all kinds of weather, given
by travelers who make the pilgrimage
from every point on the compass.
The Patron Saint of the Random Playlist
spins tunes with abandon,
sometimes to distract, but usually to
soothe the gathering of poets,
artists and bullshitters
who huddle inside to weave their yarns
on a cold morning in November.
The Touchdown Jesus of Council Grove
really isn’t Jesus at all but is instead the
Patron Saint of Wandering Great Blue Herons,
who congregate here year round
to fish, breed and be majestic
beneath his beneficent arms.
I would like to be known as
the Patron Saint of Patron Saints,
spreading the word of their existence,
proselytizing for worshipers,
carving and placing icons in their
images to be stumbled on by those
who need to find them.
Poem and photograph by Chris La Tray
Chris La Tray is a Métis writer and storyteller. His first book, One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays From the World At Large (2018, Riverfeet Press) won the 2018 Montana Book Award and a 2019 High Plains Book Award. His next book, Becoming Little Shell, will be published by Milkweed Editions in Spring 2022. Chris is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives near Missoula, Montana.
An Irritable Métis: chrislatray.substack.com/
Short Poems and Essays From the World At Large
by Chris La Tray