The Patrons by Featured Poet Chris La Tray

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:


One-Sentence Journal:

Short Poems and Essays From the World At Large

by Chris La Tray