VESPERS FOR TENT CITY
It’s not hard to bless that poly-tented tribe of misery
clinging to the sodden field
sandwiched between Cathedral and Courthouse.
Flimsy tents flinch, exhale, and in gales
blow flattened on the mud, or knotted against oaks.
When the wind drops, shreds of canticles and Kyries
drift from the liturgical east, court-bound sirens from the west.
At night, a tinny wail from someone’s radio,
arc of sparks where smokers huddle,
thud of rain on plywood
while surging runnels race the street’s steep slope.
Bless hard faces of the young in doorways,
their swagger and bravado. No worst, there is none
for those “aged-out” of what the world calls care.
Recently another man-child
the size and colour of my grandson
has been gunned down
for failure to comply.
Bless holiness of shelter from the storm.