“EUCHARIST” from Wonder in the Wild by Arthur LeClaire
He was old, tired and sweaty.
Pushing his home-made cart down the alley,
Stopping now and then to poke around in someone’s garbage.
I wanted to tell him about Eucharist,
But the look in his eyes, the despair in his face,
The hopelessness of someone else’s life in his cart
Told me to forget it!
So I smiled, said, “Hi” and gave him Eucharist.
She lived alone, her husband dead, her family gone.
And she talked at you, not to you.
Words, endless words, spewed out.
So I listened—and gave her Eucharist.
Downtown is nice.
Lights change from red to green and back again.
Hashing blues, pinks, and oranges.
I gulped them in and said, “Thank you, Father”—and made them Eucharist.
I laughed at myself
And told myself: “You, with all your sins, all your selfishness
I forgive you-I accept you-I love you.”
It’s nice and necessary too to give yourself Eucharist.
Tired, weary, disgusted, lonely,
Go to your friends, open their door,
Say, “Look at me”—and receive their Eucharist.
When will we learn that we cannot talk Eucharist,
You cannot philosophize it—you do it.
You don’t dogmatize Eucharist.
Sometimes you laugh it,
Sometimes you cry it,
Often you sing it.
Sometimes it’s wild peace, then crying hurt,
Often humiliating, never deserved.
You see Eucharist in another’s eyes,
Give it in another’s hand held tight.
Squeeze it with an embrace.
You pause Eucharist in the middle of a busy day.
Speak Eucharist with a million things to do and a person who wants to talk.
For Eucharist is as simple as being on time, and as profound as sympathy.
I give you my supper. I give you my sustenance,
I give you my life. I give you me,
I give you EUCHARIST.
The poem was read 6/20/23 by Deacon Patrick at Resurrection Catholic Church, Aptos CA
Cameron Jackson JAJ48@aol.com