Parable of the Food Trucks

Parable of the Food Trucks

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Philip C. Kolin.

Parable of the Food Trucks

“Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children.”  –  Matthew 15:36-38

On Tuesdays and Fridays they bring miracles
to the homeless multitudes who live on the edge,

under bridges, tucked into flea-lined
bedrolls, or over grates on soul-chilling nights.

The brown Capuchin Family Food Trucks,
with St. Francis painted on the side, come to them.

The friars follow God’s command, “Bring them
to me,” and load their traveling kitchens

to feed a crowd of mouths missing
teeth, futures, infected by despair.

The friars’ hands like baskets are filled with
street manna, bread, warm, baked to share,

to help their brothers, the homeless
too often invisible.

Not to these friar cooks who have
packed their trucks with extra

portions, plates, plastic silverware,
even brown paper sacks to carry away

the leftovers. These trucks have helped
thousands feel the Holy Spirit in their gut.

Philip C. Kolin is the Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus and Editor Emeritus of the Southern Quarterly at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has published more than 40 books on Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams as well as fifteen collections of poetry, among them Benedict’s Daughter: Poems (Wipf and Stock, 2017), Wholly God’s: Poems (Wind and Water Press, 2021), and Mapping Trauma: Poems about Black History (Third World Press, 2023).

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