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.

Submitted: Friday, January 13, 2012
Edited: Saturday, January 14, 2012

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