All night diner, south of the river, silent flurries lurid in neon.
Joan runs her fingers through her buzzed head, bleary, tired.
Winter is here, demons loud in the quiet, in the still darkness.
A couple of cigarettes in the pack, the stress pushes for more.
The black coffee is piping hot, bitter, and flushes her cold cheeks.
Cigarettes and coffee, keep her fighting, pleasures robbing the sun.
Mammon stole the faithful, and the hot dry smoke is soothing,
as that war grinds on and on and on. Coffee tender in it’s harshness.
Winter is here, and she has not done enough; Mammon’s feelers on her.
The waitress, grandmotherly and kind, always asking after Joan,
brings ketchup and scrambled eggs, pats Joan’s hand on the table.
This is God and devotion, so simple, so freely given, so tireless in the cold.
Simple meal, vinegary topping, cigarette finished, fresh coffee in porcelain cup.
Body can touch the holy, can escape the dust, even in these corporal pleasures.
Mammon’s winter threatens God’s creation, and in prayer, in the streets, she must stand.