Thursday, June 9, 2011


The Beggars Cup©

Mike Pettit

We have begged a thousand years on this very spot.

Not one cubit left, not one cubit right.

This squat is ours, day and night.

 We have survived summer’s heat, winters cold.

My rim is chipped, my luster gone, My Master old.

 A crack down one side, a sliver missing on the other,

He with grey dirty hair, dirty feet,

always hungry, begging food to eat.

 Time means nothing, one minute a dab of rice, the next a copper.

The waiting, that’s the rub, that’s the bother

 Masters teeth are ground small from dust and sand, crooked yellow with wisdom, from lack of neither food, nor love from his fellow man

 Milky cataract eyes, unseeing from seeing too much.

 We are believed diseased, alive with vermin, that no one will touch.

Toss a coin, throw a yam, please Sire, help a poor beggar,

 mercy for an old man.

 We are never seen, never heard, a thousand feet we see each day.

No one looks down, as they pass our way, nothing offered, nothing to say.

Be gone, be on your way.

 A slippered foot, a coin of brass, a booted heel, let it pass,

a foot bare look out, competition working our corner,

treading our path.

 A stone is tossed, my rim is chipped, Master snatches it up, tastes, and spits.

A tear falls, a husk of rice catches the sorrow, an offering from ourselves, not much, but I savor it in my cup, perhaps our only meal on the morrow.

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