The Begger - Poem by Dean Bottomley
I was going home on Monday night
The sky was dark with little light.
When from a doorway came a voice
“Can you spare some change”?
I looked and saw a figure small
Squatting down against a wall
A hand outstretched as if to say
I need to sleep indoors.
As often happens I walked on
As oft before he’d soon be gone.
But then could walk on no more
Neglect would be like murder.
I reached the corner, turned around
Surely I could give a pound!
I crept back slowly, out of sight.
He would be warm tonight.
.I sought not praise, it was my heart
I could be him with poorer start
, Cold and hungry, little joy
Begging from a stranger.
He saw me come and slow right down
He told me how he came to town.
Had to leave his family home
No cash for hostel bed.
He was small his hood was high,
I could but see his lonely eye.
So sad set in his wounded face,
And yet he’s so polite
I checked the purse to find four pound
But only two is all I found.
I must do more he has such needs
I quickly found a note.
He didn’t snatch but eyes alight
He could escape his awful plight.
First a coffee, that all right?
Will you please join me?
I must get home, (I wished I’d stayed)
“Then wish me well on my way”
Then into Costa did he stray
“I do wish you all luck”
If you see him ask his name.
I wish that we could meet again
I’d like to not forget that boy
I hope he’s now found peace.
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