sabbath rest

Ár NAthair (Our Father)

by Brian Doyle, from his collection Epiphanies & Elegies: Very Short Stories

nov 13 033

It was my grandfather who taught me the prayer

One sunny morning sitting on the front brick steps

As cars and dogs and children went passing by.


Atá ar neamh, who is in heaven he said, though

Of course He is no He at all in the general sense

But is us and everywhere and that’s a stone fact


No matter what your gramma says, don’t tell her.

Go naofar d’ainm, hallowed be thy name,

Go dtaga do ríocht, thy kingdom come, which


It is already, as we see just by paying attention.

Go ndéantar do thoil, thy will be done, ar an

Talamh mar a dhéantar ar neamh, on earth as


It is in heaven.  Tabhair dúinn inniu, give to us

Ár n-arán laethúl, our daily bread, and agrus

Maith dúinn ár bhfiacha, forgive us our debts


Mar a mhaithimidne dár bhféichiúna féin, as we

Forgive our own debtors, which huh we have none.

Well, the prayer as usually promulgated then goes


On to say agus ná lig sinn i gcathú, and lead us not

Into temptation, but that’s a cruel and foolish line

And I will not teach it to you.  So, ach saor sin ó olc,


But deliver us from evil, and right there we really

Should say please, but we are Catholics, boy, and no

Polite at all one bit.  And then we finish with amen.


Which let us say it together as men do, so amen!

We said together sitting smiling watching the parade

Which forty years later I do with him still in my heart.


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