The Beggar

She passed her sitting on the street,

a cry for help upon a sign.

Affixed to her feet the girl could see,

old paper bags tied up with twine.

She quickly turned her face away,

not sure what she felt inside.

Before the girl could say a thing,

“I have no change” she simply lied.

Once inside her cozy home,

upon the girl she thought no more.

Until the very next morning,

when the daily paper hit the door.

A few pages from the very back,

she spied an ignominious line,

“Beggar dead upon the street”,

“latest victim number nine”.

She sat and stared in disbelief,

unable to shake her sudden fright.

Could it really be she thought,

the girl she had seen last night?

She gathered up a pile of clothes,

and headed out the door.

She made her way down the street,

around the corner to the store.

From the shelves she chose with care,

things she thought would be alright.

She headed downtown once more,

to where the girl had been that night.

The corner loomed up ahead,

she could see there was no one there.

She slowed her pace and then stood still,

the street was cold and bare.

Was the girl somewhere else today?

or had she been the one to die?

Sighing deep within herself,

she felt like she could cry.

She passed her by with little thought,

couldn’t even look her in the eye.

With her warm coat around her,

she had quickly raced on by.

She turned her back and bowed her head,

wiped a tear into the air.

“I’m sorry” she whispered with a sob,

“I had more then change to spare”.

By: Beverly Beekmans  (April 3, 2001)

I want to say that the title of this poem is not a reflection of how I view people who are in a situation that places them on the street, it was simply a way to express how others view street persons.

When I read this poem that I wrote a while back now, it still touches me, I know that I have certainly rushed past or tried to avoid those seeking change or food etc. I think we all need to remember that these are God’s children, just as we are.

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