I tossed a couple of notes his way.
Okay, so it was a few bucks I could spare
and he seemed so grateful
I could have patted myself on the back
there and then.
Did I really think he was going
to get himself a meal?
The angel on my right shoulder whispered,
“Of course he will.”
The devil on my left, of course,
had him headed for the liquor store
as soon as my generous back was turned.
That’s the trouble with panhandlers.
You don’t know whether you’re doing them a favor
or they’re just conning you.
That’s the trouble with guys like me
who reach into our pockets.
Is it their need or our own
we’re really catering to?
It’s a transaction I can live with.
Of all my self-doubts,
this is among the cheapest.