Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Poem 003

God's Bakers
Three days a week
in rain, drought, or dark
the monks from St. Benedict, LA
drive across the thirsty waters
of Lake Pontchartrain
over the narrow causeway
that separates holy abundance
from thinning poverty
delivering loaves of bread
to those who cannot pay
exiled from their own identity
in the national void of half
way houses, shelters, nursing homes, jails.
The monks are God's bakers of grace
at no charge; they are as steady
as a covenant made with an Old Testament king.
Brother Joseph, who keeps God's books,
turns pennies from the faithful for bread
into a langniappe from God.
His old delivery van—a 1997 Chevy Astro—
goes to New Orleans packed full of bread
and returns to the monastery bursting
with the scent of myrtles.

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Philip C. Kolin of Hattiesburg, Mississippi is the author of the poetry collection Reading God's Handwriting (2012). He is the Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Southern Mississippi. Visit Kingdom Poets to find out more. "God's Bakers" rises out of Isaiah 55:1, 2 & 13.