Paired birds of Franciscan brown

If Brother Julian was gardening in front of the friary,
Brother Adrian weeded in the back.
If Adrian was driving the van, Julian sat by his side.
Preparing the altar for chapel,
chopping wood for kindling,
exulting in ice cream at the Twist & Shake:
the twins were together, always.

Workers, not teachers, so ever-present as to be unseen.
Taken for granted, like the rushing hush
of the Allegheny River at the university’s edge,
or the back-and-forth of birdsong.

Brother Julian became the sacristan,
Brother Adrian the chauffeur,
but they also built the bookshelves,
maintained the garden, cleared the shrines in the woods
and rarely spoke unless invited.

How they adorned the friary trees with birdhouses.
How they toured the campus on identical bicycles.
How they often sat in prayer in the chapel,
so still that you might not know they were there.

Taken from a New York Times article about twin Franciscan brothers. Submitted by Angi Holden.