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Thimble Of Grace
MM (9/9/66 / Cleveland, OH)

Thimble Of Grace

Poem By Marc Mannheimer

A beggar’s share of grace will befall me soon,
patience, patience, soon,
but it doesn’t feel that way, as I lay in my room
in the early morning dark, at much past late.
I should be asleep.
In my mind, I’ve done something awful, and only in my mind.
But understand awful in my mind is awful nonetheless –
and because of this, I feel like doing injury to myself.

Mobile Crisis Intervention, once again, talks me down,
and I am able to sleep for two hours.

* * *

I am awakened by a call from my case manager,
(A thimble of grace is all it takes)
I get up, get down
to his waiting car,
and we somehow find our way
to the Furniture Bank.

The red-tape, the haggling, the tension,
the torsion, carrying and pushing furniture across the scuffed floor,
and out the door.

(A thimbelful of grace, in an ocean of harrowing waves,
can transform the whole ocean.)

The Bank staff pushes us out at 11: 00 so they can go to lunch,
out into the cold, this winter’s first snow,
outside with a couch, a mattress, a desk, a chair,
but our guys in their van, hired hands, are finally here
(an hour and a half late) .

All of this free furniture (subsidized for disabled persons, such as myself)
Fits in the van – not one piece more, not one less would make more perfect a fit.

I buy the case manager McDonald’s, and once we are unloaded,
I stand amidst my apartment of new, used, handsome furnishings.
I am high now, the worries of last night a memory,
the motion, the movement, the stress, the straining and waiting
have produced a center of inner calm and strength in me,
as the contortions of the harried oyster create a pearl.

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