Suburban Dilemma

Joan McBride

When it came time to decide
who would receive a dollar,
she paused on the sidewalk to reflect.
She always kept a few dollar bills
for her shopping visits to the city.
She always felt refreshed giving something.

Today, her considerations were many:

  • woman with a sleeping child leaning against a lamp post
  • Vet in a wheelchair with a sign (‘pease give’)
  • addict stepping into traffic
  • earnest ‘Spare Change’ vendor
  • person in a blanket-tent on the sidewalk.

One was too desperate
one couldn’t spell
one shuffled like a marionette
one was hardly working
one she couldn’t see.

Each came with an obligation. 
She had something to say against each
and just enough cash 
for a good cup of coffee.

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