All Poetry

A Lunch with a Gift.

I had lunch with a homeless man.

But not just any man. An elderly man, a former high school teacher…and a former patient of mine from a charity clinic where I used to work.

It happened as I was driving through downtown, stopped at a light beneath an overpass. Suddenly, I heard a familiar voice. 

“Hi Doc!”

Since we were both hungry, we did the natural thing: we went for lunch at a nearby cafe. Despite intrigued glances from others, we had a lovely lunch. Looking back, it may have been one of the most enjoyable lunches I’ve ever had.

A few days later, I was contacted by the clinic who informed me that I had received a letter from a patient. And here I will share it with you—in a form put into verse by me but which maintains its original wording:

Dear doc, you have been so kind to me.
Why, you even took me to lunch.
I wish I could give you something in return,
but I know I don’t have much.

So I write these simple words to you
in hope that on those days
that they’ll make you smile and give you strength
and peace in many ways.

You are a doctor to many,
but an angel you have been to me,
who encouraged, cared, and healed my pain,
and a light you made me see. 

I am sad that you are no longer my doc
but am glad that you are my friend.
And I hope we can keep in touch
until the very end. 

So why did I share this? Because I was “challenged” by Liz to give a gift to someone. But now I realize—I don’t think I succeeded in giving anything to anyone.

Rather, the gift was given to me



103 replies »

  1. It’s funny how that works — in situations like this, when we think we’re giving the gift, it often turns out that by giving to someone else, we walk away with something as well. A beautiful note <3 Thank you for sharing!

  2. SO beautiful! Your story and the poem, we all enjoy being noticed for ourselves not our external appearances or situations which are often beyond our control. Well done!

  3. The poem is a million times worth more than whatever lunch cost, it is, and I repeat, it is …… BEAUTIFUL. Sheeesh! What a poem…. That’s why I love and write poetry so, to witness heartfelt stories framed in the highest art …. henry Yorksed.

  4. I want to say, along with the others, that I found this post so beautiful. This is what happens when we give. We receive so much more than the recipient.

  5. That’s so beautiful Phoebe. It’s amazing you took the time with this man and it shows you just how much you are appreciated. It also makes me very sad that around Christmas time that people are homeless and alone. It’s just sad and not right. My thoughts are with him and all those like him.

  6. This was according to the ARK (act of random kindness).
    When ever we help someone or do something which makes them happy then we are actually not helping them but ourself.
    Sharing love with others living being is the most pleasant feeling.
    Loved your act and wish you and your patient lots of blessing an d peace.
    You received the gift you deserved.
    Lovely post

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