Soup Kitchen

His wrinkled hands shake
as he takes the tray from my hands.
His eyes tell the story,
of a life of suffering
I will never be able to understand.
I look at the holes in his jacket.
It's so cold today, how can he stand it?
So much life in the soles of his shoes,
a bitter sweet look lets me know,
that he see's it to.
I wonder if anyone will tell him
"Merry Christmas"
in a week.
I wonder if he knows the baby born that day
always walks with him,
even when it is bitter cold.
He sits at the table,
he talks to his friends.
Are they regulars here?
Why?
What makes them happy and
what makes them smile?
How long has it been since someone
bothered to ask?
The smell of must and smoke fill the room.
Hundreds just like him filter in.
Yet, they are not like him at all.
Each has a story,
each has a name.
Maybe one of them will even be told
"Merry Christmas".
The room shuffles around,
people ask for more.
Please, someone give them what they cant give themselves.
Give them a way,
give them a chance,
give them a smile.
Please?
I have lost track of him for a while.
but he hands me a tray
sometime near noon.
With an averted gaze,
he reads my name tag.
He tells me I am thankful.
"You're Welcome"
I whisper.
"Merry Christmas"
I think as he shuffles away.

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