Day of Grace

My friend bags oranges and bananas,
adds a couple of bottles of water

whenever she heads out the door to work.
Sometimes a muffin, sometimes half

a loaf of bread— She’ll give this
to the man who stands with a sign

often at the intersection, begging
for work, for anything to tide

him over. The tide is high, and it
keeps rising. How many of us

will it take to keep it from coming
and obliterating us all? Meanwhile

the dumpsters fill with residue
of wrapping paper, boxes, gift

tags, ribbons. It is the day of grace
or the day after. On the sidewalk,

a tree lies on its side, dry, brown,
needling the air for lost ornaments.

A dog sniffs at the branches. A street away,
two fire trucks pull up to a yellow house.

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