Advent, day twelve.
The surprise of simple kindness usually reduces me to tears, particularly when it comes from an unexpected direction. This is the best of us; the very best we can be. Forget the self sacrificing soldier, or the hyper-successful entrepreneur, or those at the pinnacle of sporting success.
Give me instead the man whose simple acts of service go unnoticed.
Give me the nurse who is not just concerned with treatment, but still finds ways to love.
Give me the policeman who spends a little longer with the drug addict than he is supposed to.
Give me the musician who sets aside the endlessly self-referential, self-absorbtion of their own art in order to encourage the lesser skills of someone who is just developing theirs.
Give me the posh restaurant owner who feeds rough sleepers.
Give me the inn-keeper whose rooms are bursting, but still has time to do what he can for those who are in need.
He was as wide as the city gate
(Although half of him was heart)
Arms like beer barrels
Fists so big that even fighting men
Thought twice despite the libation
In the post-clatter calm that follows closing time
He lifts a broken man from the gutter
Props him on a wall while he
Wipes reek from wrinkled mouth
Lifts him like lost luggage
Carries him home
He was a big man.