Beggar on the Metro

Stranger with a mullet and baggy cargo pants.

Keep smiling because it’s all that can’t be taken from you.

That’s what he said in broken English with a French accent,

begging for money.

Parisian metro scalpers.


The note grows sharp and the train rattles forward.

No, I have nothing to give you.

Faint smile, till I lost him standing further away in the next car.

Would I speak so eloquently,

with strange kind eyes, gazing down at men in their seats?

Then a screamer then enters at the front of the car.

I can’t understand, because I don’t know the language.

I’m not from here.

I can’t know the stones from which you rose this morning,

beneath the lights of the Eiffel tower,

on the tearing banks of the Seine.

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