Feed The Priests

Photograph by Emily Kennedy

I am surrounded by shopping bags that are not mine
And I picture my father standing outside the church door.
Feed the priests and earn your keep.
He lived in the back with my grandparents and the nuns
Until the checks came in
And the priests slowly passed away.
Sad, but that has always been the reality of life.
There is a hunger, a craving, a need
For the reassurance that what we own
Defines what we are.
We consume our own images
In attempts to create them
And cry at the fact that it is not enough.
It is never enough.
The balance between necessity and longing
Was thrown in the trash
Along with the plastic wrap and old tags,
While Kerouac died with the bottle by his side
That was given to him by the very men
He had left behind years ago.
What a likely, ironic reunion.
There is such a dependence,
And such a fear. A wretched fear
Of uncertainty. Of potential instability.
And anything that is
We look down upon.
I keep seeing those above kicking the poor chaps
On the bottom of the ladder
Back to the ground.
I can be pessimistic sometimes.
I love seeing the hands that reach down
To help them back up again.