Beggared Belief - Poem by Liam O'Brien
The low wheezing of the tired man
Was soft enough to be the breeze-
Waiting there with outstretched hands,
Waiting there on blunted knees
For something, anything, in his bowl
To eke out his meagre survival,
Alone and lonely, uncovered and cold
With a cripple nearby as a rival.
My heart cries out when I see such a man,
A man with such beauty and pain and loss.
My heart cries out and I do what I can
This man is the city behind the gloss.
My brother needs some food and some shelter
Yet so many look away and walk past,
In cold he will freeze, in heat: will swelter,
And of those who walked by, I was the last.
I do what I can, but not what I wish,
And what I can is a lie to myself,
For I carry with me five loaves, two fish
Yet I keep four of those loaves for myself.
Hear fading wheezes of reality,
Hear in those wheezes our morality.
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