Beggars

Prostrate in the middle of the piazza
I wanted her to stand up and enjoy the evening like me
She interrupted my trance
My tiny, tidy image of a benevolent God

Her spine drawn up like a bow
Knees and elbows wedged into the cracks of the cobblestone
Hands pressed together forming a prayer arch
Forehead touching the ground

I was uncomfortable in her desperation
I walked on by


Tailed and pursued, her need relentless in soliciting mine
Beckoning me to feel
the uneven path where I stood
Clamoring for me to hear
the broken bones ricochet with each step

The cadence of my heart stretched and slowed
My eyes narrowed on a sleeping beast I’d met before
The last time it roused, I felt out of control
Awkward and unruly, flipping tables, making messes

I wanted her to stand up
My knees buckling under the weight of her posture

Doug Serven