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.