Today at Shoneys I observed

Today at Shoneys I observed
the lemmings at the breakfast bar:
fresh scrubbed from church and
sanctified, their patience thin,
their manner rude.

And that seemed odd;
for were I bound
to meet my maker, in his house,
I’d tread a little softer,
thinking my acts subject
to review.

And if just come from said review
I’d tread my way much softer still,
remembering how far I fell short
compared to those whose sacrifice
kept them from standing
in that line,
dressed up for show,
dressed up to dine.

But I missed services today;
in fact, I have no formal date
each week to meet with the Divine.
So I was quite content to wait
while the waitstaff was crucified
by those whose righteousness
was clear to anyone who looked.

I waited, while my food was cooked,
my coffee poured, my water filled,
by poorly paid and harried staff
who dared not find my eye, and laugh
with me about the peacock crowd
who thought themselves so fine and proud
that their time was worth more than that
of these, their servants, who like me
did not hear from the pulpitry
this morning that they should be shamed
to fill their mouths with holy names
while their hands grasped at mammon’s chains.

I waited, ate my food, and paid.
For all the difference it made,
I left a larger tip than those
who came in their best Sunday clothes.

22 May 2005

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