Archive for December, 2018


He walked through the streets in darkness,

Homeless but not alone,

A man on a mission of reverence

beyond the mundane chore of survival,

in a spirit of grace and mercy.

___

He stopped at Johnson’s Laundry

With it’s Closed for Christmas sign,

He knelt on the sidewalk outside the door,

Quietly saying the Lord’s Prayer,

the only prayer he knew.

___

Thanking “Papa” Johnson

For the clothes left unclaimed,

He left a small package – a crude, homemade cross

With a card on which was scrawled,

“Merry Christmas, from Jesus.”

___

Next was Garcia’s Grocery

For the leftovers not yet spoiled

He knelt and prayed –

Another crude cross,

And the card, “Merry Christmas, from Jesus.”

___

Ten blocks later, Miller’s Hardware,

For his sturdy, cardboard box dwelling,

and timber for his bed,

A kneel, a prayer, a larger crude cross,

And the card, “Merry Christmas, from Jesus.”

___

Too far from home, the mission closed,

He found a bench in the park,

after a passerby bought coffee

and he walked – recalling forgotten memories –

without knowing what they meant.

___

Early the next morning on Christmas Day,

he fought the wind and rain,

through the cold streets to the mission,

where Christmas dinner was served, the soul sustained,

and life again had purpose.

___

The rain stopped, the wind died down,

as he trekked on home,

home – an alley behind the church

white and made of stone,

with a view of the cross on the wall.

___

He turned into the alley

and stopped in his tracks.

Where his cardboard box had stood,

was a sturdy lumber shack,

with a roof, a window, and a door.

___

He opened the door to a sturdy wooden cot,

An orange crate table, his few possessions inside,

with something new on top.

A suit of clothes hung on a hook,

with the laundry marker still on it.

___

He closed the door because he could,

he’d forgotten what it felt like.

Walking to the table he turned on the lamp,

it had been years since he had his own light,

but then his breath went away.

___

Also on the table sat a Bible, brand new,

inscribed with a name he hadn’t used in years,

next to a picture of a family he’d forgotten he had.

He stood staring at them, his mind racing,

memories bombarding his thoughts.

___

He sat on the cot and picked up the Bible,

after staring at the picture a while.

He ran his fingers over the only thing he owned

that wasn’t worn by wear or weather,

with emotions he couldn’t control.

___

Through tears, with shaking hands,

he opened the Bible and read

“Merry Christmas, from Jesus.”

___________________________

© 2009  Daniel L. Roark

Merry Christmas!

Peace be with you.

Coming home from playing a show last week – back before the flu kicked my ass and I had to cancel a really good gig I was looking forward to – I turned left onto the access road for the entrance to Central Expressway. As I came around the turn, I noticed the cars in line at McDonalds. Behind the car at the window was a cop with all lights blazing. There were two cars waiting in line behind him.

I could not take a picture. I guess if I had acted quickly, I could have pulled over and taken a picture. But I did not want to chance drawing his attention away from the scenario that was unfolding at the McDonalds. And cops with lights blaring are bound to attract other cops. And I didn’t want to draw their attention either.

So I drove down Central, trying to avoid the people on their phone, and contemplated the mystery of the cop at McDonalds. The obvious scenario is that the cop was pulling over the guy in front of him and the guy pulled into line – briefly oblivious to his surrounding environment. Either that or they didn’t want to go to jail hungry.

The one final scenario would be that the cop was late getting where he/she was going and simply wanted the car at the window to hurry up and get out of their way so they could get their food.

Any other scenarios?

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

%d bloggers like this: