Paul F. McCann

GUARDING MARIA

Maria was still at school when the war began.
Then headlong into a German army she ran.
Polish and pulled from her family in Warsaw.
Imprisoned, punished and controlled by Nazi law.

At a concentration camp she was send to and work.
The guard who watched over her treated her like dirt.
She cooked for him and then he made her beg for food.
He beat her into submission because he could.

At the end of a long day sleep was not allowed
He paraded around like a peacock, so proud.
He ran away the day the allies took control.
With the war over she was set free from the hole.

On an emigrants ship she sailed to a new life.
She met a man from Poland who made her his wife.
They had three kids before he wanted a divorce.
She said no because she was a Catholic of course.

He left her for his lover and she found Jesus.
I don’t know what it is but God sees it in us
She became an acolyte and was proud to boast.
That she could now administer the sacred host.

So there she stood holding a chalice on Sunday
Handing out communion to those who came her way.
Then came the day, a man’s face in the queue she saw.
She took a deep breath but her breath couldn’t withdraw.

She froze with fear. She couldn’t believe he was there.
The Nazi guard came with his hands outstretched to her;
She looked at him and then silently said a prayer.
She let it go to God in total surrender.

Then placed Holy Communion in his hand and said,
I forgive you and she wept tears that felt like lead.
Maybe he needed to hear that before he died.
Maybe that’s the reason why he stood there and cried.

Maybe he never recognised her face at all.
Maybe it was the day when his life would be called.
She was free from her demons and hoped he was too.
The last thing she said to him was God be with you.

That’s the last she saw of him and now she’s at peace.
From her earthly ties Maria has been released.
Some souls are bound for heaven some are bound for hell.
Who are we to judge others? None of us can tell.