By Vilma de Coteau

Her back was bent, her limbs were frail,
Her hair was white as snow;
Her eyes were dim but could not hide
The sorrow deep below.

The hand she stretched to passersby
Could scarcely bear the strain,
Some deigned to drop a meager coin,
Some looked right off again.

Thus she had stood for many years,
Upon the pavement bare,
‘Dear Lord, how long must I go on,’
This was her daily prayer.

‘The rich man looks but never sees,
The poor man has his cares,
The young are hardly ever kind -
Protect them through the years.’

Oh you who pass along the way,
Please hear this beggar’s cry,
This too one day may be your lot
When you would pray to die.

Give what you have, be not afraid
Though it be but a smile,
A smile, if given from within
May cheer her heart awhile.

Thank you Ann for submitting this beautiful poem to me.

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