I brought in the stray. He’d been mewling
on my front stoop, shivering in the rain.
Then one more and another, until my entire
life was a collection of lost souls, an assortment
of the weary, the lonely, the hungry for food.
You might say I was a female St. Francis,
extending my hands in a Christ-like pose,
the very vines of Buddha climbing my frame.
You might say it is I who was the wandering
Jew, a victim of my own desires. And yet,
there was purpose and gain, such
as we mortals measure them.
I laughed, didn’t I? I danced in the kitchen,
even as the shift change brought in
another drifter. Even as you roll your eyes,
I loved them all, every last one.
His words hung like fruit
dangling from persimmon trees,
bruised and out of reach.