Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I wish

I wish I had given her some money,
when she asked me on the path
last night, dark braid down her back,
voice resigned, skinny five year old
daughter clinging to her leg, eyes tired.
It could be me needing, my daughter.
I could have spared five dollars.
I spend that for fun, not thinking.
i wish I had given her some money.

I wish I had given her some money
there on the River Walk with drunk
singing blaring from the bars and
a man videotaping four beauties
line dancing on the sidewalk.
People laughed when the college
boy fell into the river on purpose,
came up laughing, playing the crowd..
i wish i had given her some money.

I wish I had given her some money
even though my husband and my friends
make sense when they instruct give to
charities, shelters, not panhandlers
who might be con artists or just
wanting a drink or a fix to get through
one more night on the steamy streets. 
I shouldn't enable their habits. It's sound
advice.  I still wish I had given her money.


  1. It sounds like this situation really tugged at your heart and continues to do so. A reminder that sometimes one has to break one's own or others' rules JUST once.

  2. Victoria, I have the same struggle. This is a beautiful poem.

  3. I too am often torn between these feelings. Wonderful and heartfelt.

  4. feel this one....and i understand what they are saying, but i often give as i can and actually spend a little time to know them....

  5. I feel the same way as you ... I do give money to homeless folks when I can. And, yes I hear the same responses from others. I can't imagine the circumstances that force men and women to beg, I just know how it impacts me.

  6. Beautifully said, Victoria. I often have this same tugging. It's tough to see.

  7. Always a difficult decision to make for sure, but I usually try to help if I can. I can feel the regret coming through this so much...but unfortunately there are enough cons floating around that it has to make us just a bit wary at times. Nicely written.

  8. I so hear you with this. I give to those I can tell are genuinely in need, especially women with little girls. So I absolutely know how they tugged at your heartstrings.

  9. Heartfelt poem. This is a hard choice. I, too, don't want to enable beggers. But I could feel the struggle in your poem. Very vivid street images and strong emotions.

  10. It was odd. I thought maybe we should give something and looked to you for confirmation. You answered looking to my general opinion. I felt too awkward to discuss the issue in front of the mother and child, so communication went awry.

  11. Sometime gut instinct has to lead us...

  12. That's so true...I have felt this many captured it very well...

  13. This is on the money...the money we wish we had given
    but the fear of ridicule by others stopped us. They didn't
    have a second thought not giving.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

  14. She wishes you had also . . .