Drawn to the mission window,

the old soldier hugs the wall.

Lips cracked, toes frostbitten, he plunges

chapped hands into his pockets.


Inside, bellies growl as diners line up

for bologna sandwiches and potato soup.

He takes his seat, grasps a cracked mug

and is admonished by downcast eyes

and folded hands urging him

to first thank his maker.


Believer or not, he knows

for the price of a prayer, the Little Sisters

will serve supper and salve his dignity

with a measure of kindness.




Gail Eisenhart‘s poems can be found in The Centrifugal Eye, You Must Remember This,  Adanna Journal, The Tishman Review, and in Flood Stage: an anthology of St. Louis Poets. A retired Executive Assistant, she works part time at the Belleville (Illinois) Public Library and travels in her spare time collecting memories that usually show up in new poems.