The Beggar

There was a beggar
who sometimes plied his talent
if hungry or not.

Good morning, I said
always when I passed him by
and handed a dollar.

He mumbled something,
with a nod of his grey beard
maybe thanks…or not.

My friend disapproved,
why encourage him, she said.
Why give a hand-out?

He’s richer than us…
thanks to the people like you
who forfeit good sense!

So they said, indeed…
and for all I knew…it’s true,
always a fixture…

If he ever worked
no one knew…most didn’t care;.
tossed a coin—or not.

Did he need to beg
to support his existence?
Was he a con man?

It doesn’t matter…
not for me to determine…
I know just one thing:

Better him than me,
in the cold rain and hot sun,
on the street—for alms.

Risking self esteem,
damaging reputation,
takes audacity

The truth, I suppose,
(if there must be a reason,)
— “Just because he asked!”

©Sometimes, 2016