by Olga Dugan

The Ticket to Our Closet
             -for Jill Aschkenasy and Phillip Luke

Is it the two women; one black,
the other white, popping-up
at a church today? Tomorrow,
perhaps a synagogue?
Or is it the people
whose dignity these women see—
the people, warmly hedging
the building’s length toward open
doors where they receive this
ticket so worth the wait?

Could it be what some call
bread-like nourishment; some,
a cool drink; and all, a cherished
unforgettable blessing—this ticket,
giving each a turn
to enter Our Closet
where they exchange it
for clothes, shoes, accessories
to spare; the chance to shop, no
questions asked because
for a moment they’re loved
more than many sparrows
expected neither to toil nor spin,
just buy with pearls of thanks,
and then, don all the finery
of flowers?

Or is it that the two women,
Shauna and Melanie, work
for a risen Dorcas named Jill?
Now that’s the ticket—perhaps.
And maybe, it’s simply
what they do
in another Name—lifting
neighbors up with helping hands,
proving the currency of giving
in close-fisted times, anchoring
kindness against waves of care,
against maelstroms of stress
in mind, on the pocket—making
this ticket an act of light
measureless because it’s free.


Photo by Raphael Brasileiro via Pexels