How A Panhandler Kills (Free verse) by SupremeDreamer
A bum sits at the entrance of a Korean liquor store
with his back against the wall.
His puce overcoat enshrouds a decaying body,
and greasy grey hair is hidden under a dunce cap.
He clasps a bottle of rum in his right hand,
his left held out for spare change,
mumbling about the pretty girlies
that were once the object of his worship
as people walk by.
Some passer-bys laugh at him,
some are amused and smile,
others pity him and all his kind.
A young man hops out of a black Toyota
and spots the hobo wearing soiled clothes.
The dreary view causes him to frown.
He walks up to the old man and groans.
âYou want me to give you some change donât you?â
The vagrant lifts his head to look at the man
and reveals his jaundiced teeth with a grin.
âI want you to give me whatever you think I deserve.â
Grunts escape tender lips as the man enters the store.
He buys a bottle of brandy and a pack of Marlboro Reds,
saving three pennies for the bums empty hand.
Walking out, he tosses the change onto the filthy ground
âThere old man, heres three pennies,
more than what you had before
I entered this liquor store
and you still have nothing.â
Calloused lips deliver a chuckle
along with grave words that the fool
will remember forever:
I may have nothing that you find valuable,
but I have a thousand lives tucked under
my raddled hat, so I know everything
about your pathetic existence.
I also know exactly whats gonna happen
when you get home.
Heres a little of what I know:
I know that you love a woman
who is an adulteress.
You still want her,
yet hate the whore.
Heres your fate for today:
Brandy will flow down your gullet
while you weep with shame,
ashamed because you think
that you're a monster for having
such rage and because you dream
of committing murder.
Tears will decorate the yellow tiles
of your house, your moist eyes watching
three little ruffians squeal like pigs
as they run around the house.
And you know what?
When all that is happening,
I will be here rolling three pennies
along my knuckles, thinking about
how I am three cents richer,
fulfilled with the long life I have lived.
My mind will be filled with thoughts
of pity when contemplating bout
that poor chap who has a Toyota,
a trollop, three tykes, and a two story house.
I will pity him because he'll be looking
at all that makes him a respected member
of this society, knowing he has accomplished
You see, I have three pennies,
my bottle of rum, and an endless filmroll
of picturesque memories.
I reside in heaven, and will continue to
even when my bones rot under the ground.
And what about you?
You'll still be sitting
at your dinner table
Votes: (green: user, blue: anonymous)
Arithmetic Mean: 7.3333335
Posted: August 21, 2003 3:01 AM PDT; Last modified: August 21, 2003 3:30 AM PDT
Weighted score: 5.62753
Overall Rank: 2150
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