The Beggar


The Beggar

The smiling faces of beggars

Beseeching charity

From exposed street corners

Audaciously revealing

The dirty shame of fortune .

One legged and half minded castaways

Loitering in the doorways of enterprise

Appealing to the discomforts

Of those who pass by

Scorning at their ineptitude

With averted eyes.


The “undeserving” you decry

But not too loudly

Because there are tinges

Of guilt in the proclamation

Which you do not wish to acknowledge.

“What,” you ask, “have these mendicants

Contributed to your well-being?”

“Was it I who ordained them

To their station?”

Am I the maker

Of the fates of others?”

You continue on your way

Wondering if it´s all a ruse

Just another attempt

To gain something for nothing

And not from need

Just another “business”.

Your walking slows

There is distance now and safety.

But, In your mind, you see the stump of the limb

The smile on the face

Of the mentally handicapped girl

With her hand

Timidly thrust forward

In supplication.


You feel your own

Lack of compassion

Churning within

And seeking to relieve it

You turn and walk back

Towards the beggar

And reach into your pocket

For a few pesos

Which you needed for milk.

Russell Rosander

Barra de Navidad, Mexico 2014


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