Serving Lunch to the Homeless

SERVING LUNCH TO THE HOMELESS MEN AT THE GOSPEL MISSION
 
I stand before the large bin of pulled pork,
a iron-stanched spoon in my hand.
 
The only promise I can offer them today
is on over-flow portion of meat and sauce
 
onto the buns. Over the wall between us
one by one they survey the buffet—
 
our eyes do not catch. I know nothing
of their maps, the cargo they carry in their hearts.
 
As each man passes, the words
loss, hunger, broken get caught in my throat.
 
It is not that I don’t see or hear. I do.
It is that my safe-for-this-moment life
 
cannot let me know. So I do what I can:
With each person, I build a bridge between our eyes.
 
I say good choice and enjoy
and pass his plate to the next volunteer.