110,038 poems read

The Waiter

I am a waiter-

I carry food on plates
From the sacrificial stove

Where life-taken from the earth-
Is prepared over fire
To satisfy the hunger
Of those patiently waiting

At the communion tables
To partake of the sustenance
Of this bountiful planet
That they may live and laugh
And tell their stories
That they tell to each other--

And then they tip and leave and I bus the table
And put the tip in my pocket and set the table
For the next hungry body waiting to be fed.

“Give us this day our daily bread”

I think of Jesus and the seven loves and fishes
And the feeding of the ten thousand eyes I have seen
Seeking substance for both body and soul
And the thousands of sacrifcial fish
I have carried on plates
To feed those who need
To be fed

I think of Peter Kelder-
An elegant elderly gentleman
With an old oak cane
Who would order Cecelia's Chopped Salad
And a glass of cabernet
Until one day I realized
He could no longer count his change
And we would often find him wandering
Lost and alone at night.

"Have you any family or friends?"
Was answered with a long blank stare
And I realized how often we leave the old
Alone to fend for themselves

Phone calls and social service agencies
Finally found Peter a place
Where he could die
With a little dignity and grace

But more often I think of those
Whose fate is not known

Whose face one day you recall because for weeks
They have not shown and are never seen again.