Her name is Paola and she is selfless.
She wins our hearts--but first our bellies--
With silent movements and a shy smile.
She fries plaintains, seasons chicken,
Cuts fresh mango, pineapple, papaya,
Brews strong coffee for weary travelers.
She's the first to wipe up spills
The last to fix a plate
And I never once see her sit down.
One morning, before dawn,
I slip down the stairs and hesitate
At the sight of this dear woman on her knees.
Hands lifted, head bowed,
She whispers Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen!
And the sun rises on her beautiful devotion.