A poem about being approached by a beggar.
|As my friend and I were driving in his new Mercedes to the local casino,
while passing through a poor part of town, we stopped at a red light.
My friend said, "Here comes a beggar to bother us. Wouldn't you just know."
The intersection was grubby, with a liquor store on the left, a 7-11 on the right.
The man approached our car, carrying a sign 'Will Work for FOOD'.
I could tell by the way he walked his reception was usually quite rude.
He looked about forty and very much in need of a good meal.
I took a ten-dollar bill out of my wallet to have ready.
My friend snapped, "Save it!" I asked, "What's the big deal?"
His next remark struck me as cruel. "Let him go to work steady
if he wants to eat. Giving people like him money is always a waste.
He'll just buy liquor or drugs, not one morsel of food will he taste."
I thought about how our lifestyles were so comfortable and fine,
with our good jobs, expensive houses, luxury cars, trips overseas,
our dining at fancy restaurants, spending fifty dollars on a bottle of wine,
how I'd never miss this ten dollars, how much this beggar it would please.
Besides, who knew how this poor man had arrived at his sorry state.
The indignities that he had suffered must be numerous and great.
When he reached the car, I handed him the ten-dollar bill.
His eyes lit up. A smile filled his face as his shaky, dirty hands took my gift.
"Thank you. Thank you, mister. This will be a lifesaver; it sure will."
Driving away, I felt good inside, my gesture giving my spirits quite a lift.
"You know, we really should help out people like that a whole lot more."
"Look behind you." Turning, I saw the beggar hurrying inside the liquor store.
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