Poem: “Alms”



Impoverished peoples give generously 
of their patience, graciously accepting 

assorted hand-me-downs: the sequined
vest, silk tie, high-priced pair of heels.

Soon this stiletto heel will bore holes
into the earth where roots can nestle.

This silk tie will fasten branches to hold
a thin blanket, freshening in the sun. This

designer vest will warm the old woman
in search of water and one lost daughter.

She will wear sequins as icons of honor.
She will bear symbols, shining like rain.

Mary Harwell Sayler


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