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.