In the grey fogs of the cities -
Like mushrooms in the moist,
There grow beggars in the corners,
"Just a penny, sir!" - voiced.
You may find them in any genre;
Old men next to a jar,
Sad blokes without roof nor goods,
Lads playing a guitar.
All they want is only a coin-
Giving them needs morals;
Only God knows, you may be there,
Begging with them for alms.
Every time, I bypass by one,
My throat knots in a ball;
I feel an urge to seek coppers,
Always giving them all.
However, once it happened that-
I ran out of changes,
When an old gypsy woman was
Looking for my wages.
She blocked the entry of the shop:
"A coin, may God bless you!";
I excused: Now, I'm short of posh
While trying to get through.
She grabbed my arm and hugged my waist:
"My dear, my kids need food!"
Get out of my way, you witch! - thought,
"Witch?! You'll pay for b'ing rude!"
I was shocked: What, she read my mind?!
She spat between my eyes,
Hugged me harder than a python-
While murmuring weird rhymes.
"Pale face - hard heart, now you will pay,
Pale heart - hard face, you'll own!"
I fear'd if there were watching crowds,
But none, I've seen none, none.
The witch's gone as if never been,
Leaving my eyes in pain;
Taking my sight away, to say:
Oh my God! Am I sane?!
No doctor could cure my blindness:
"Nah, you must pretend it."
Then, a charlatan informed me:
"You're cursed, I'm sure of it".
Knowing being cursed let me sick;
"You'll need her to be cleansed",
But how to find her in Paris?
Been blinded and uneased.
I digged through the darkest quarters,
Meeting gypsy kings and hags;
Though, they were all laughing at me:
"A witch-beldam who begs?!"
My dispair led me to the shop:
Maybe, I'll find her here;
Time has strained my face and my heart,
Begging there year to year.
"All I want is only a coin-
Giving me needs morals;
Only God knows, you may be here,
Begging with me for alms."
Published in Constantine the Bridge Poem Collection.
Written in 2017, Oktober 11, Algeria.