Panhandling

by Brenda   Mar 8, 2016


I see you
most days
standing at the intersection
shadowed by the overpass
home-made sign in hand
"HOME-LESS, PLEASE HELP"
are you really,
in need?
Or do you do this
to deceive?
Not using
the generosity of strangers
to fill your belly
but to feed a need-
My mind says
not to stop
this is dangerous,
why encourage bad behavior,
why enable poor choices.
But my heart
says otherwise
dictated by beliefs
to help someone in need,
show compassion
for our fellow human.
I fight a battle daily
within myself
seeing you standing there
do I offer
my hard earned coin
or do I
just drive on by?

2


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Latest Comments

  • 1 year ago

    by Ben Pickard

    Hello Brenda

    This piece struck me as I myself often pass people who are/claim to be homeless and wonder the same thing, which inevitably leads to the question "should I part with my money"?
    To be fair, some aren't always genuine and they are often the ones you can clock instantly, but most of them probably are and I guess that is worth a few of our coins......if we ourselves are able to give them.

    Great write and all the best,
    Ben

    • 1 year ago

      by Brenda

      Thank you Ben, yeah, it's always a quandary. It's something that can't just be ignored. In a perfect world we wouldn't have to worry about this, unfortunately this world is not perfect.

  • 1 year ago

    by Dagmar Wilson

    I have worked in a convenient store where the homeless used to hang out. Listening to their stories was heartbreaking. Men who had a courier and they lost everything. Then there were others. All of them just wanted a bite to eat and a kind word. Being homeless is something I thought could never happen to me. Whenever I see someone on the side of the road holding a sign I stop and if it's only a few dollars it makes me feel good to help someone in need. Thank you for sharing. Take care

    • 1 year ago

      by Brenda

      Thank-you There's so many people out there who are in need, it's something I would never wish on anyone. It's scary to think most people are only a paycheck away from that. I feel blessed with all that I've been given.

  • 1 year ago

    by Maple Tree

    This poem hits me hard....

    It is a scary thing these days to stop and lend a helping hand... you never know the outcome... or the intentions of the person asking... however,

    I work with the homeless, and I can tell you... most of them wish they didnt have to hold that sign and fight hard to not do so...

    I love your writing Brenda!!

    • 1 year ago

      by Brenda

      Andrea, thank you so much! I knew you would totally get what I was trying to say. It's a continuous inner fight to help or not help. Everybody deserves help, it's just scary. I wish no-one was in that position to have to beg for help in such a manner.