“Nutrition Site” by Kathleen Norris

(named for the hot lunch program for the elderly in her small town…)

We are off-site now,

in the van, delivering

hot meals

in a fierce winter.

One widow’s house

smells of stale water.

Ancient linoleum peels

and buckles

on the wounded

hardwood floor.

Her Valentine roses

have lost their bloom;

wrinkled, they droop

on their stems,

as if weighted

by beauty.

Their beauty. Yes.

Like the widow’s icy walk,

her gnarled hand

on the lap

robe, in the musty

living room, her Bible

open to Isaiah 35:

“and the desert shall rejoice,

and blossom as the rose,”

her wrinkly smile

as I knock and

enter. Beauty, yes. All of it.

And truth.

(taken from the book The Quotidian Mysteries)

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