A neighbor thanked me for a simple kindness,
restaurant takeout my diet wouldn't allow.

So off I went, the food still hot and fresh,
to find a someone who needed it more than I.

He was young, wary, browned, and thin,
as one might expect from homeless youth.

He greeted me with a distant smile - 
measuring me, and what game I played.

I told him my tale as best I could, and
mentioned where the meal had been made.

He studied me with understanding eyes and
politely corrected my pronunciation,

as he might his grandfather stumbling over
a slangy rap song title.

He took my offering and traded his thanks.
A grin played his lips, a joggled memory perhaps.

Taken aback, I managed, "Yes, that's the place,"
and went on my way, never too old to learn. 


Had i but

known by heart,

lo those

many years ago,

Romeo's scathing words

aimed at the anguished


"I give you poison,
You give me none."


God be my witness,

i would have taken


as my second language,

and been a better man

for it.