Thursday, January 20, 2000

MG Road

A whining beggar child
snot nosed and bedraggled
& tugged my sleeve
and snivelled persistently
begging for alms.

Irritated, I scolded,
gestured with a warning finger,
but she begged on.
And on, and on.
And on, and on.

So I whipped out my hand,
& tweaked her black and grimy ear.

Later, when I walked,
satisfied and self-important,
back from the shops to my car,

I saw the little beggar girl
weeping by the roadside
and suddenly
she was only a wretched child,
a poor, unfortunate waif,
not loved or cherished (like mine)
not fed or clothed (like mine)

just a little girl,
sobbing, alone.

just as I had, 
when I was her age, alone.

She was an irritating pest
only by bitter circumstance
and I was flooded with remorse
for I had no sweets in my bag
to give the little beggar child.