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Friday, July 29, 2022


by Deb Freedman

for Lucille Clifton’s “Good Times”

The poet and colleague volunteer at the food pantry.

people drive up
and we put food in their cars
we run hauling bags
meat produce bread desserts
food for dogs and cats
sundry items people choose from the cart
we welcome everyone
greeting people we know like old friends
James and Ava have a corner store and a new granddaughter
2 months old
i bought 5 onesies cool for the summer with my friend’s donated $20 kohls cash
and gave Ava a pretty one with a fish on it
for her namesake
she was so excited
she promised she’d take a picture of Baby Ava in it to show me
and a woman with a 2-year-old
who just had a baby girl
came for food and diapers
so i gave her a yellow striped onesie
i think she cried behind her glamorous dark sunglasses
Jesse said he couldn’t drive himself today
because the surgeon sawed him in half
so we finally met his wife Dina
he brought us a little cardboard bakery box
of his delicious homemade mini cupcakes
like always
and thanked us for helping his family
the Steelers fans with rattly truck and 3 cats
got extra cat food
we joked we like them
even though they aren’t Eagles fans
there were these 2 guys on bikes
who pedaled over the Calhoun Street Bridge from Trenton
trying to figure out how much stuff they could carry
in their ragged backpacks
even with our reusable bags
they ruefully left a few pounds of their food on the table
and told us to give it to people who needed it
after 3 hours I'm sweaty tired
my face sore from smiling at folks
and that was just today

Deb Freedman finds joy in volunteering at a local food pantry as well as writing poetry and hopes to spark recognition, compassion and solutions to the increasing food insecurity of both people and pets in this country.