Like my other poem Madras, this poem was written after observations made and discussions with Indian people in both Chennai and Mumbai, in those days, between 1989 and 1991, still called Madras and Bombay respectively. It must be said that the business of begging is not confined to India.
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A crippled mass of beggars
Each at the corner of every street
Deformed by cruel and greedy hands
They perform their daily feat
Of scrounging from the passers by
The people in their cars
Their pathetic, doleful entreaties
Oh, how my heart it scars
Yet who is the beneficiary
In this profit-full career?
I'm sure it's not these limbless souls
Whose lives are not there nor here.......
Whose plight we don’t wish to hear
Copyright © Thomas Mansfield