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.

Articles by Marjorie Maddox

Loading...