The Soup Kitchen.


The men – they’re mostly men – line up before the doors are sprung;

Some of them are older, but then some of them are young.

They’re boozers and they’re bruisers and they’re losers as a rule;

Hard knocks being the subject they have studied most in school.


They don’t say grace and finger bowls are definitely scorned;

They eat what’s put before them, overcooked and unadorned.

Their words are harsh and bitten off like strips of fibrous jerky;

Their eyes reflecting nothing but a desperation murky.


And then someone sits down at the piano on the edge,

And plays a little Chopin – maybe softly, maybe sledge.

The jaws do not stop chewing, nor the forks pause in their lift –

But ev’ry Lazarus enjoys that happy little gift.