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In Lagos,Nigeria, where I grew up as a child, we had a lot of beggars begging alms on the streets.  Here is an encounter with a beggar I never forgot.  (Revised poem I posted on another website.)

The Harmattan wind puffed ponderous dust

into the air that evening in December

and from the rust appeared a blind beggar

wobbling with a cane behind a girl

who led the way across a mucky, uneven way.

 

She stumbled as she tried to keep pace

for the helper walked as if in a race

through a sullied street where I stood

flying kites with my mates.

 

“Your secrets, may God keep

Troubles, may you never see

Good fruits, may you reap.”

 

These words in a tongue strange,

like a monk, she sang in an even range

which had us in laughter reeling

as she stood before us begging.

 

Abased by our jesting,

her mouth in rancor detonated

spitting words in the panting wind

that squeaked like a balloon deflated.

 

Defeated, the teary wretch walked away;

her voice diminishing along the way.

 

When the Harmattan wind pants savagely

it now echoes with the rancor of the abased beggar

and I ponder what became of her and her helper

that evening in December.

 

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This is lovely. Even if you can't go back to that day and give to that particular beggar, there still a lot of them on the street of Lagos and all over the country praying to find someone who cares just like you do. Have a nice day.

 

Ademola Balogun 

Thank you, Ademola

Ademola Balogun said:

This is lovely. Even if you can't go back to that day and give to that particular beggar, there still a lot of them on the street of Lagos and all over the country praying to find someone who cares just like you do. Have a nice day.

 

Ademola Balogun 

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