May 8, 2011
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One midsummer’s night, under the moon, while
Most of the earth stayed safe in their cocoon,
Or they wandered awake, or they lied asleep,
Or supped small, fetid feasts,
Or meals, with a spoon,

There lived a small boy, clothed in rags,
With dark bags under his eyes
And a small, knitted cap
That he wore as he cried,

For his father had died
In an ignorant war,
And his mom; long gone;
She sold herself as a whore.

So the boy took shelter at the steps of a church,
He was a sparrow; and these steps were his perch.
And a sparrow he was,
For he foraged for food, and he chewed and he chomped
On the meals that he found--wanton and frump--imbued on the ground.

And as the boy sat and cried,
-The tears filling his eyes-
He peered up from his cap,
And he asked God, “Why?”

But his plea was cut short, for a man, well-fed and tan,
Walked along the road, nearing the boy,
Hope filled the boys eyes, and he thought,
“This man may have money to buy me a toy.”

So the boy stood up, a smile filling his face,
But the man saw him, crossed the street, sneering, and said
“Wash yourself, you filthy disgrace, your smell is appalling--the same with your face!”
This he said, as he tightened his tie, looked away, walking, awaiting no reply.

So the boy turned around, his eyes rising, watering,
Cursing the heavens, his life, and his dark, tainted fate,
For where he lived; men grew old, and men died,
They became famed,
Rich, stuck-up, acclaimed,
And none ever bothered to eye
This poor, somber boy;
For his smell was appalling,
And his sight; withdrawing.
And the men who saw him had better things to do, such as
Read a good book, or hum an old hymn,
Or sing carols in a neighborhood, with the lights, oh, so dim.

But this boy--known as “Poor-Of-The-Earth”--
Still lives, and you may find him
In a large city, every two blocks,
You will see him
Scarcely clothed, wearing dark, ragged socks,
Begging, crawling, and swarming in flocks,

Lend him a hand,
For to him (though not to you), one pence is grand.

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