For Theirs Is The Kingdom Of Heaven*

Martina Misar-Tummeltshammer

“In spite of everything, don’t lose your faith
in a table circumferenced with friends.”

Bryana Joy
“10 things I learned in the ’10s”

Each fallen short and welcomed.
Sin the only invitation acknowledged, forgiven.

All poor, crippled, lame, and blind.
A meal soft to the pallet, a joyful smile,

what teeth available, grateful for laughter
at apples turned into applesauce. Praise God

for sweet tea, damn sweet. Amen, the chorus,
lifting high the styrofoam cup for refills

the broken-winged angel, darkness
to light, pours from a green pitcher.

Kalen Emsley

Their conversation–still waters.
No din of chanting prayers, insolent airs,

only the open palm of mercy,
all having found their way, blind,

to the least of chairs–metal, folding,
their place of honor, the Savior

Reginald Hallward stained glass window in St. Peter’s Clapham

breaking the soft bread, passing
the plastic bottle of flavored water,

knowing the risk of wine, then kneeling
to lift each sandaled foot,

wash it clean with a cotton cloth
dipped in a basin of water

Steve Kutson

from the deep-sink in the kitchen.
Now he stands, laying his hands

on their eyes. No one pulls away.
Each, when challenged by

the practitioners of Law,
smiles and answers, “I only know

that I was hungry, thirsty,
a stranger, naked, sick, and in prison.

I was blind and now I see.
Pull up a chair. Eat. Drink.”

Paul Rysz

* For Theirs Is The Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5: 3, RSV; and Matthew 25: 35-37

In gratitude for Lynn, John, Robert,
Maura, Olga, and all the Volunteers
at City Light Community Ministries.