Hagiographers build the saint's life
Even as they kill the man behind it
Deader than a sinless doornail.
They lose his doubt and fear and foibles,
His bad temper and worse choices,
His lonely nights of dark despair.
They know their audience, to be sure:
Masses eager for a blameless hero,
But one less offensive than Jesus Himself.
In the baby lisping Ave Maria and Pater Noster,
We see Christ as we would like Him to be,
Rather than the bruised, bloody bondslave He was.