Poetry

A Trip To The Food Bank

I have to wonder,
as I notice a couple of dogs tied to the fence and
several transient-looking folk guarding the double doors,
cigarettes and loud voices in tow,
is this the place?
I’d been to a food bank before and it was calm
and quiet
This place was a zoo!
I take a deep breath, park the car and head inside

A long desk and three female employees are barely visible behind
a crowd of mainly men, all different colors, all different kinds
There is lots of back-slapping, secret handshakes and talk about
who saw who where and when between the men
It’s a party frankly
There is no particular order
There are no signs telling me where to get the food

I’m standing there shifting nervously from foot to foot,
Folks hold red raffle tickets in their hand
A black woman is calling out numbers from time to time,
where do I get a ticket?
I ask a woman with long gray hair and a gray hoodie for help
She tells me to stand in line for a ticket
There is no line but I don’t tell her that
I get do get a ticket, number 58

I sit next to a row of computers where
homeless-looking people are all on Facebook
One old man is looking at pictures of pretty girls
The black woman mentioned earlier tells the man his time
is up and he ignores her

I take a good look around,
I realize I should’ve dressed down,
I am embarrassed.
I notice a quiet man sitting,
He was looking at me when I looked at him
but then he looked away
He is wearing a bright-blue hat that has a
logo for a deep-sea fishing company on it
and a puffy South Pole brand jacket
He is one of those quiet, observant types.

A big black man is the life of the party
You can’t help but look at him
He could’ve been an actor or comedian, the hold
he has on the crowd
He has something crazy in his eye
Its mix of charisma and lunacy, he’s Dave
Chappelle, only much older
He singles me out,
he points at me from across the room
I don’t know what he’s saying but I
smile nervously at him
I hear him say, “I made the bitch smile!”
Foolishly I smile again
I have nothing to write this
poem on but a check from my checkbook
I run out space to write
I have a lot more to say

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