Our voices hushed, we slip into
the narrow, gloomy room,
a taper on the back-wall bar
the only source of light.
Lou leads us to the wooden chairs,
unvarnished, hard as bone,
hands each a card in Gothic script
listing evening service.
Heads bowed, we make our pleas,
which Lou records
to send them up,
creaking and groaning,
up through his old dumb waiter.
We wait and wait, start losing faith,
but then rejoice to hear
repeated creaks and groans announcing
manna from upstairs.