All morning he sat at the soup kitchen door,
This giant of a man,
Wrapped in layers against the spring heat
Like a monk, displaced here on the street
In silent meditation. I envied his contemplation
As I moved in and out with sandwich bags and soup.
He was in that place I try to reach
Every morning. Only to have my trying
Block the gift.
Then he opened his eyes
To smile at me.
I came to pray at the house of strangers and
A woman, shrunken,
Her head back to gasp in air, eyes seeking nothing
Save some words, the caress of holy oil. The brood
Of daughters hovered. They wrapped the room
With what’s left to give as death hovers
Just beyond. They cradled an infant swaddled
In the promise that life passed on would continue as
They mirrored a mother’s legacy:
Ninety-plus decades of gift.
And then she opened her eyes
To signal Amen.