We Come Together

like a tapestry
of worn threads. Our feet
carry us here: a pilgrimage
of shared suffering. Greetings
are made, voices
break their weary
silence, arms
open, plates
are accepted; We sit
—colourful and cast out,
frayed
from too much turmoil,
bleached from rays
too bright—we sit
in rows along tables
with more life in them
than us, but still
we come, day after day, soles
breaking
off of our shoes, shirts
borrowed, we eat whatever
they give us, remember
better food and better
days, forget
that we are as invisible
as the grime that lines
our alleys and as
disliked; we come together,
like broken pieces
of a machine,
searching for the parts
that make
us whole


 

Author’s Note: As someone living in poverty because I am too disabled to work, I am told on a regular basis that I am worthless to society. Soup kitchens are one of our few havens—one of the few places where poor people can go and not be mistreated or thrown out, where we can feel welcome in our poor identity and actually cared for, and they are a locus of community. “We Come Together” is about all of these things, and how the very act of continuing to live and continuing to go to soup kitchens is itself an act of both hope and defiance.

Frances Koziar has writing published in 45+ different literary magazines, and is seeking an agent for a diverse NA fantasy novel. One of her poems shortlisted for the 2019 Molotov Cocktail Shadow Award Contest, and her poetry has appeared in Acta Victoriana, Snapdragon, and Thin Air Magazine. She is a young (disabled) retiree and a social justice advocate, and she lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

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