Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.
(Jessica Powers, 1986)
With twenty loaves of bread Elisha fed
the one hundred till they were satisfied,
and Scripture tells us there was bread leftover.
Jesus did more: with five small barley loaves
and two dried fish he fed five thousand men,
together with their wives and children, all
neatly arranged upon the cushioned grass.
The awed disciples, when the crowd had eaten,
gathered up what was left: twelve baskets full.
Who then received these fragments? Hopefully,
the least (though not less favored) and the poor.
I think of those who always seem to get
the leavings from the banqueting of others,
the scraps of bread, of life, that goodness saves.
I pray that they come proudly when invited,
make merry at their meal and have their fill,
and rise up thankfully, remembering
the fragments, too, were miracles of love.
Powers, J 1999, The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers, ICS Publications, Washington DC.