We beg you,
mend the ways of pretend mendicants,
imposters who pose pious and pitiful
on our staked-out streets.
Uncover the shades of the blind
who really see, the crippled who limp
selectively in rich company.
Competition is keen;
let’s keep the neighborhood clean
of riff-raff and rabble-rousers,
hypocrites hogging the best hovels,
preying on the easiest weak.
We give our dutiful mite,
pull pennies from our palms,
cough-up an ungodly percentage
for each street corner converted
to our enterprising petitions.
Blessed are we the paupers
of prayerful panhandling.
We beseech you, then, oh Saints,
open your holy hearts
and wallets, and let us in.