Open Air Kitchen

Hey everyone As a christian I believe that the mark of a decent society is how we treat the most vulnerable in our society. This is particularly true of those whom society rejects and allows to slip through the net. Those who have nothing except their dignity and whom some would deny the right even to have that. It is with this in mind that I have written this poem as a tribute to the volunteers in the loaves and fishes project, the salvation army, or any other groups which helps those the rest of us see fit to abandon. I have called the poem Open Air Kitchen. I hope you find it a challenging and thought provoking read.

Open Air Kitchen

Fishers of men
serve daily bread
in soup kitchens
to those stripped of ambition
de-valued by a system
which puts profits not people
as priorities to be first in the queue
places reserved for princes and princesses
paupers need not apply
don’t even bother filling in the forms
there too long and designed
to confuse, irritate, and annoy
destroying the souls of those
capitalism rejects
fishers of men serve dignity
were their Scotch broth
and ministrone
there is nothing phoney here
in the open air
where blood from broken hearts
and minds
creates its own design
in this merchant city
a pattern of poverty
some would sooner ignore
pretending as paunches pilot did
it will wash itself away
but this invisible stain will scar the city
remaining in place far longer
than the working girl
who will not be working tonight
dressed in her best fishnets
she could be dead
by the time this yawning city wakes to embrace
the calm of a bland new morning
the dawning of dreams destined to be unfulfilled
as empty promises are broken in the quest for fools gold
but tonight the fishers of men
will serve hope in their open air kitchen
giving dignity to those rejected
by a world which sees them only as statistics

@ Gayle Smith 2014

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