Brian Purdy (28.09.48 / Belleville, Ontario)
All Are Welcome
All of these and more are here:
the mad and sad, the badly nurtured
those with a past, some without futures
all of these and more are here.
A health card gets you in at the door
wait two weeks, come back for more
apples potatoes sardines, tea
turnips squash and margarine.
All are welcome of whatever race
of any religion & any age
the working poor & poorest workers
dreamers and dolts as well as shirkers
all of these are here & more
none are turned away from the door
gaudily dressed in neo nylon
raggedy men in seventies rayon
the fat, the thin & the muscular
faces like bricks, faces peculiar
all appear at the food-bank's door
& hope they needn't come back for more
but chastened, hungry, sick to the core
wearing a smile as they try to ignore
the reasons they need to come back to the door
almost all come back for more
with few exceptions made to the rule
that bodies get hungry, flesh needs fuel
wise-man beggar-man bugger-man fool
almost all adhere to the rule
and so come back to the food bank door
two weeks later to play the fool
& none are turned away from this door
with a single exception:
closed at Yule.
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