The Beggar

Like everything else in this world,
the darks are whitening,
their cheap pallors beguiled by light.
These walls are sparse and loveless.
I am the angel
come to consecrate this homeless shelter
with baubles collected over forty years
I push around in a metal cart.
Life is not divine.
I was not born into this.

On temperate days I drop from my zeppelin
and spread to a feast for birds.
The almsgivers feel they are doing a holy duty;
they think they are pithy and virtuous,
they think they are receiving absolution from their sins.
But they are my enablers
and I know how they live.

At night I see the slash of lamplight
under their doors, hear the chimes of their voices,
curtained off from what they don’t want
to see or hear.
Without them I’d be poor.

People water me when they pass by.
I am a stone in their stream, a patch
of weeds everyone disdains
but no one wants to pluck.
Sometimes I skulk in the crevices;
they seem to notice me there,
rattling my paper kettle.
They plop coins into it
as though dropping wishes
into wells.

Caroline Misner is a graduate of Sheridan College of Applied Arts & Technology with a diploma in Media Arts Writing. Her poetry, fiction and non-fiction have appeared in several journals throughout the USA, Canada and the UK. She has also had work published in several anthologies and webzines. She writes erotica under the pseudonym Cynthia Lucas and her stories have appeared in several publications and anthologies.

In 2009, she was nominated for the prestigious The Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize as well a Pushcart Prize in 2010 and 2011. In 2004, her novella received Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. A short story was also a finalist in the same contest. A novel, The Glass Cocoon, was a semi-finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Award the following year.

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