Milky tea and fudge, warm hands and hearts
in this cold little hall; shiny buttons
on tired navy sports coat sleeves,
handed in with cardies and heavy belts.
Those with least gave most; always do,
and crave no recognition. A garden, too.
This is where they dispense love:
it comes in a cup, on a best plate, and
when they lean in close to listen, when
you can smell the charity and the cakes,
feel a working man’s hand on yours and see
the veins jump; see the frayed cuff.
Come here to learn the art of charity;
come here to see what a man grows
after raking and tumbling the earth.
Come here to hear the floor creak,
to feel the little heater’s warmth,
to see a hug and the power wrought