The men – they’re mostly men – line up before the doors are sprung;
Some of them are older, but then some of them are young.
They’re boozers and they’re bruisers and they’re losers as a rule;
Hard knocks being the subject they have studied most in school.
They don’t say grace and finger bowls are definitely scorned;
They eat what’s put before them, overcooked and unadorned.
Their words are harsh and bitten off like strips of fibrous jerky;
Their eyes reflecting nothing but a desperation murky.
And then someone sits down at the piano on the edge,
And plays a little Chopin – maybe softly, maybe sledge.
The jaws do not stop chewing, nor the forks pause in their lift –
But ev’ry Lazarus enjoys that happy little gift.