A Gift of Alms



Alms a strange archaic word

Defined as relief for the poor

Charity you can easily afford

In the plate at the church door


The poor aren't there at the time

Conveniently absent neatly missing  

A few coins and small bills but I’m 

Distressed at what I’m leaving 


The day is cold it snowed last night

The morning drive in frosted ruts

The dirty drifts and slush surfeit

Common folk at home doors shut


My drive stops at the red light

Glance about at the cityscape 

An alcove piled with trash a slight

Movement my eye nearly escapes


A toqued head rises from the heap

A bearded face in cragged pain

His frosted bed his lonely keep

He shivers now in palsies reign


No one about but him and I

Our glances lock in certainty

His needs I simply can’t supply

I turn ignoring his vulgarity


And yet I’m angered by his fate

What can I do to relieve his plight

The green light now permits my flight

Release the brake just drive straight


The slippery snow grasps the wheels

They spin but cannot move the car

I’m stuck wheels whir my mind reels

He’s standing now and with a jar


He’s at the door he speaks unheard

He gestures roll the window down

Dear God this is just absurd

The window down his face a frown


The matted beard the dirty toque

Eyes bright he asks if he can help

I’ll push you now then you can scoot

His grin is wide his words heartfelt


Emotions riot in my head

Shame embarrassement humility

I offer cash but he instead

Said words that fair impacted me


“You’re in need and I am not

For I can walk and you cannot

I’ll push you on without a fee

A gift of Alms don’t you see”




Poetry by josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 25 times
Written on 2021-02-19 at 00:41

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F.i.in.e Moods The PoetBay support member heart!
I like this story a lot! It's very touching, and reminds me of many of my homeless friends in my youth and the ones I met during my visits to England. In my experience, I learned that it's people with the least who are often the most generous. Your words warmed my heart because such portrayal of the "homeless" is not the usual. But it should be. Beautifully written, the flow led me, and the emotions moved me. Merci.

jim The PoetBay support member heart!
Who benefits most, the receiver or the giver? You wove a good (in the true sense of the word) story.

Thomas D The PoetBay support member heart!
Whoa. Yes, I'm fair impacted myself!