The Staff of the Holy Food Cafe- A Poem

The ways of God

may be more like those

of the waitress

who has worked there for 37 years,

since she was 17

than those of the 30 year-old cook.


Both heal in comfort food,

apparently the same food viewed from up top

But, the waitress knows the customers

better than the cook does.

He feeds the body

she feeds the soul

The cook prepares what people “order”,

the waitress hears their strained laughter, silence, fights,

tears, rage, longing hungers and joys…

The waitress has a view as to WHY

they order, and eat or not,

what they order.

The cook is limited to the ingredients on had

The waitress KNOWS that it is impossible

to fulfill all that is needed, wanted, longed for.

So, as she places the plates on top of the table

at some other level we cannot see,

in order to acknowledge and honor,

to give full credit for

all of that joy, rage, longing, hope, fear, love…

in some way that we do not know,

she waitress inserts herself in-between the people and food

to listen, hear, hold, look, cry, rejoice with, embrace

to be present to those who

are hungry for life.



About kathrynrickert

Possibly from watching the movie Bambie at the age of 6, I have had a life-long awareness that saying ONLY nice things, does not make the world just or kind. Thus, my 2009 doctoral dissertation..."Talking Back to God" , is one of the main aspects of the work I do. Always interdisciplinary, seeking connections across borders that are usually marked with DO NOT ENTER, I seek to pay attention, pray, think, create,and imagine using biblical laments, Christian worship texts, and the ordinary stuff of everyday life.
This entry was posted in God at Gatherings, food, drink and holy stuff, God in Relationships, God in Struggle and Distress, Poetry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Staff of the Holy Food Cafe- A Poem

  1. willow1945 says:

    I love the waitress who as she serves, is fully present, honoring, loving–very touching.

  2. Love this poem… Having worked as a waitress when I was 18 and when I was in my 40s, I know those women, and revere their so often overlooked work. I love the vision of God among us as a waitress at a two-bit restaurant…

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