Homeless of New York

I sang at Carnegie Hall with my choir family.
Whilst there I spent a day volunteering
at the Holy Apostle soup kitchen,  New York.
I wanted to just not sing and sightsee.
I wanted to give back and help out.

A group of tourists met early.
We were each handed an apron
and a hair cover to wear.
We all traded stories and
formed a team.
A potpourri of accents.

I was given the job of handing out
bread and plastic bags.
A plastic bag to a homeless person
is like a shell to a snail.
They carry their home in it.

First job was to spread the bread out
on the table, rye, pumpernickel,
multigrain, white.
As many different breads as there
were mixed cultures in New York.
I spread butter on most slices leaving
a few unbuttered as well.

They all came to my table and told
me which bread they wanted and how many.
They each took a plastic bag,
They were so grateful and polite and
asked me about my trip to New York.
They were impressed I was going to
sing at Carnegie Hall.

I got tired.
It was tiring standing on my feet all day
handing out bread and bags.
I was grateful I didn’t have to
do this every day but it was nice
to not give a hand out but shake
the hand of a person who has
met with the hard knocks of life.
Not walk past them or give them
money and feel good a good deed was done.
Show them I cared about them.

The volunteers cleared the tables,
wiped them and stacked the tables.
We removed our hair covers and aprons
and sat down to a beautiful meal
made by loving, caring hands,
something I guess the homeless
loved having too.
Love and care goes a long way.
Good to get but also good to give.

To meet a person of the street and be a friend
was such a beautiful experience.
An experience more meaningful
than singing at Carnegie Hall.

I thought all dsy ‘There but for the grace of God go I’.


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