The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It didn’t seem important

It didn’t seem important –
not at the time.
Just another poor man
dressed like the bums
who came knocking at the back door
when I was a kid.
You do if you’re old enough,
and didn’t live in a fancy house
with a fence and a gate
to keep the riff-raff out.

It didn’t seem important.
We gave him a meal,
a good hot meal,
with a nice dessert,
and seconds until we ran out.
That seemed like enough.
It really did.
I even brought him coffee –
cream, lots of sugar –
when he came in early,
as he always did.

It didn’t seem important – 
at least not to me.
Handing him the cup
I could smell the booze,
the old stale smell
of cheap booze.
He’d slur a “thankya,”
but missing all those teeth
he was hard to understand,
so I’d just nod and
hurry back to the kitchen.

It didn’t seem important –
until he died.
They found him lying there,
early on a cold morning,
curled up on the hard ground
behind the bushes,
right outside the door,
of the soup kitchen.
It just didn’t seem important
to talk with him
or pray with him

…and so I never did.

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