Warm Company

The afternoon counter he stands behind,
The baker awaits the seven days’ chimes.
He’s reminded of beauty, smiling through a long life.
And to blue skies he stands to rise,
With tears of joy, which stream from his eyes.

He’s an Englishman, born in the West End, he says.
“Like to go back again, but LA’s my home, and when I’s lost it took me in.”
“Into the home of the good people I’d met.”
“Been blessed,” he says. “Used to sleep in an Oldsmobile, but they put a roof o’er my head.”

“Today’s Palm Sunday,” I hear a patron say.
“I went to church when I was a boy,” says the Englishman.
“I never went,” says I.
He says he’s got sour memories.
“No perhaps it was not for me,” and he stares and he breathes and he says “but I believe.”

And the sun sits majestic and penetrating,
Through the glass in soft afternoon beams;
And it lights the Sunday scene,
Made sacred by good friends and warm company.


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