© 2008 -- 2011 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Lesson

“Is there anyone here who really believes?
That’s heavy stuff about birds and lilies
in the midst of anxious thought.”

“Yes sir, “ said a small voice disembodied
and floating through the snickering air.

“And what do you do,” asked the leader,
“when the client needs lunch?”
No one turned to see
because the voice had no client.

“And what do you do when your shoes
are scuffed and your hair needs cut?”
If the voice answered, no one heard,
so full was the room with the shuffling of grins.

“‘Surely life is more than food, and the body
more than clothes,’” quoted the leader.
“Maslow tells us as much. But who is here
that would not worry about the next meal
if he were poor, and who is the one
who would not trade a friend for a blanket
if it would keep the cold out?”

“I am,” said the voice as the lesson ended.

Originally published in A Matter of Mind, Foothills Publishing, 2004.
© copyright 2004, 2009 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic Blog.
All rights reserved.


  1. You always get me to thinking, Grandpa, always.

    peace - Rene

  2. i think that voice at the end was me...friends keep you warmer...

  3. Wonderful. And you mentioned Maslow in your poem; as a Social Worker, I'm impressed!

  4. Ths still, small voice?

    Let's work our way UP the hierarchy of Maslows - not DOWN as we seem to be doing in today's "economy."

    Aloha, G-Pa!

  5. Always a voice. We had the opportunity to have breakfast with a group of homeless and otherwise challenged folks a week ago. It left me thinking that even little bits help. Always a voice.