Prayer Line In Koreatown LA

By Patti Ross

I watched the line in Koreatown LA wrap around the city block
As if the city of Jericho resided inside and with a shout it would fall.
The voice of pandemic screams at the empty garden.
There is quiet order like rows in a field, no messiness.
A standing line awaiting to be blessed.

Like traditional seedlings, the environmental yield is low.
Low income, lower level, low budget, lowly.
The choir at Immanuel Church a cappella
Holding what is left of the relics of a food desert. The church was
Built in 1882, the year Charles Darwin died.

Where is the Humanity in all this?
A complex phenomenon of food pantries, soup kitchens
Church side doors and Mother Mary.
Who sees her children hungry waiting to be fed.
Food as sacred as the loaves broken to feed the multitudes,
Its sovereignty violated by principalities drunk on exploitation.

The numbers rise 120, 500, 1000, 2000 in line,
Now regulars among the cries from the Mother of Exiles.
Shall we paint the nave golden? Perhaps the one
that Emma Lazarus wrote about the year after Darwin died.

Here the huddled masses yearn to eat, to work, all essential.
Standing quietly together just one of a million measured miles.
The tide has come bringing pandemic pandemonium.
Here the church Immanuel sustains us, shows us how to pray.

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