For Ashley, Aswathy, and all those sending food to the unhoused on the long road home

You can tell you’re home because they feed you.
Bowls and platters filled in love fried and sautéed and
Curried by hand each spice and grain and leaf
Chosen with care because you’re home and they need you
To know how good it is to have you in the circle
Of their arms, out of harms way. You could say
That this recent splurge of breads and cakes
Exotic recipes, tender meats, and aromatic
Bakes is a circling of arms about ourselves,
A reaching up into neglected cupboards to
Shake a little love from tins on our shelves. Such
A strange thing, food. Hastily wrapped
Meals, made by strangers for nameless strangers
Trapped between the leaving and the returning
So many unhoused each one unknown. Such a
Strange thing, food, delivered in packets,
Hundreds at a time, carrying the promise of home.

Please state the nature of the medical emergency

I am afraid I will die.
Really? Here in your lovely
Voluntary exile, hibernating with
Your plants and your music and your
Elegant lounging style?
I am afraid to die. Aren’t
We all this is hardly
An emergency. I am afraid to live.
When everyone has died. Seriously
Too many bad movies is hardly cause
To summon the emergency medical
Hologram please state the
I am afraid to live as if everyone is dead.
There was that so hard? Why not just
Say so? Instead we have all this
Bleating about dolphins returning and
The new blue of the skies – true, some
Of it, but mostly photoshop and lies
I’m also afraid – oh there’s more? Where
Does it hurt I’m sure there’s a cure – that
I’m relieved to not be able you see there
Is news of thousands walking beaten
Stuffed into boxes and starving and I
Unable my hands are tied I’m self
Isolated you see couldn’t help if I
Tried but my fear is not a symptom it’s
Really my relief I’m afraid to have to
Add conviction to belief. There. Lie down.
What you’re experiencing is grief. For all
That has died around you and all
You will kill there’s not much
I can do but I will
Say this: as much as you may say that
You want this to end, get back to your
Work, meet a real friend – grief will always
Urge you to pretend that
You got this you can do this everything’s
On the mend. This shall pass too.
So lie down. Things will
Die down. As death tends to do.