“The bread you store up belongs to the hungry;
the cloak that lies in your chest belongs to the
naked; the gold you have hidden in the ground
belongs to the poor.”
— St. Basil the Great

But it is already swirling—
those uneaten crusts of bread
from my kids’ PB & Js—
not toward the wide-
opened mouth of the nearest poor—
but down the drain and hell-bent on the black hole
of the disposal’s gnashing teeth.

But what of pita, focaccia, challah, baguette,
tortilla, ciabatta, chapati, naan pulled steaming
from ovens, or stacked in bakeries, or …

And this old sweater with the wine stain, too ugly
for the dirtiest beggar? And the basket upon basket
of unmatched socks could they, too, be multiplied
into catfish and brioche? What of the paint-splattered sheets,
the too-small baby clothes, the forever-tight jeans?

Only the soiled, the torn, the outgrown,
the discarded; only the unneeded bagged up
in garbage bags for Goodwill or American
Rescue Workers, or the all-time favorite
and always convenient Salvation
Army, which will, without judgment,
pick up right inside my white picket fence

about the same spot where I have buried my gold.

Previously published in Windhover

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