The beggar

The beggar stands inert
on the shadowed street corner
asking for change,
asking for something
to get her by for this day
and for this cold and spacious night.

Should I feel sorry for the beggar?
Should I feel guilt that I have much
and she so little?

There is a plea in her eyes and
in her quiet and studied voice that
has been here as echoes before;
and she knows that I sense her need,
and maybe also the well-formed style
of her well-rehearsed technique.

Then I feel the ache of regret
that I judged her so decidedly;
and she detects my ambivalence
and asks again for something
for this lady of the street.

And just as expected,
I hand over some loose coins,
my coffee money for today;
and she, with feign delight,
thanks me with a smile
and with a wink.