A Debt | Teen Ink

A Debt

May 15, 2008
By Kathryn Mahan PLATINUM, Fredonia, Kansas
Kathryn Mahan PLATINUM, Fredonia, Kansas
43 articles 53 photos 0 comments

A Debt

In the early
morning hours
Serving soup with
painted smiles
As the day goes on
he tires
His service pays
some debt.

In the night he tries
to iron
He’s been alone since
he was young
No one sees the
light brown burns
He’s never liked
those buttons.

He will sit
and kindly listen
To his fellow man’s
Give them faith to
keep on living
His quiet words
are tokens.

His sister lives
on borrowed time
Prayed for, begged for,
precious time
And so he left
his blue-eyed love
To pay his
secret debts.

He wears a uniform
of black and white
Walks lost children
home at night
Writes letters to his
would-be wife
but doesn’t sign
his name.

He gives talks
for funerals
For calendar-marked
Watching the people
as they listen
Bored by the debt
that they must pay.

He rises early
to watch the sun
Prepare his sermon,
walk the grounds
And wonder why he
never learned
to think before he spoke.

He adjusts his
Roman collar
Evades his eyes
in the mirror
He is burdened by
the things he feels
But he must pay
his debt.

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