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A Needy Place

“On the turning away

From the pale and downtrodden

And the words they say

Which we won’t understand

“Don’t accept that what’s happening

Is just a case of others’ suffering

Or you’ll find that you’re joining in

The turning away…”

—Dave Gilmour, Anthony Moore,

Song by Pink Floyd

I’m on my fourth week of volunteering with the Salvation Army. It’s become abundantly clear that not everyone is cut out for that line of work. Some, who may have begun with idealism, are now burned out. Some want to help, but not become too close with those who are in need. Perhaps they’ve been burned too much also. There are always those who are going to seek to take advantage, those who ask for a little too much, those who are dirty, smelly, or ugly. So, it takes a special kind of person to embrace such as these. It takes a special kind of person to see them as just like oneself, another human being. To treat them with love and respect, not as a problem. Maybe one day I can be that special person. For now, I’m just starting to learn about this place, where two very different worlds meet and dance a beautiful dance together.

Chopsticks

Do you know the way out of the cave?

The skyscraper is starting to wave.

What sign are you? Do you know mine?

How have you been, my valentine?

Reaching for touch,

I bask in the light.

Starting to whimper,

I’m scared straight.

Look for another reason

To tell you just what I’m feeling.

I don’t care what the point is.

I want to be forgiven, so I’m righteous.

Drinking something from the fruit.

Dipping my toes, they start to soothe.

Japanese jungle gyms jangle freely

On the freeway of love, don’t ya know.

How many candy bars does it take

To bridge the gap between your lip

And my teeth, with an orange peel

In between, and chopsticks in my hand?

An End

Looking down

Into a hole

Oh,

To drown!

To be released

From daily stress!

To escape the chains

Of all this mess!

To cozy up

To a sharp knife,

Or blow out my brains–

But I couldn’t do that

To my wife,

Or my family and friends.

It all depends

On the foundation

Which I’ve built my life.

No experience

In this nation

Can compare

To the values and strength

Inherent in how I’m made.

Or the sacrifices

Of those who love me

Time and energy,

All the money,

Invested in

Making me free

From this disease.

Yes, so much

It would be a shame

To come to

A premature end.

I must confess,

It’s not likely.