at a foodbank

by Dan Flore
The Writers Block
Third Place, October 2011
Judged by Nathalie Handal


pictures of Jesus swirling
robed in grandeur saying “what happened my son”
or soggy with blood limping to Calvary
gasping “I understand”

kids yawning
kicking their feet
waiting in a square that wraps around the church
that seems to be tied around my neck

my life plays out across a humble wooden cross
all of my potential like two roses falling from Christ’s toes
and compassion is the redness of my face
ready to pour out of my skull
as a bottle of champagne for everyone to sip

outside I let the sky
rub into my eyes like I’m asleep
in a robin’s egg
ready to crack open


The lines: “my life plays out across a humble wooden cross / all of my potential like two roses falling from Christ's toes,” kept echoing around me. I wanted to spend more time with it. Everything I needed were in these lines. Yet a few others lines took me away. Regardless, this poem succeeds in placing us outside of ourselves while placing us at the center of a foodbank—where reality is tough. Where “waiting in a square that wraps around the church / that seems to be tied around my neck.” And around ours. ---Nathalie Handal

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