Those who are rich,
(we’re talking material
comforts and possessions here);
those who are rich are much practised
in the fine art of self-justification.
We are commendable and deserving,
and have every right to enjoy
our purple lifestyle.
We have worked hard,
we have invested wisely,
prudently, and with consideration
of future contingencies. Charity,
it is often conveniently said,
begins at home.
The poor, on the other hand,
are wasteful, indolent, and lacking
the diligence to avail themselves
of the myriad opportunities
that surround. If they bothered
to open their eyes they probably
would not recognise Hard Work
if it leapt up and danced a jig before them.
And so we learn to guard our surplus,
convincing ourselves that our caution
is necessary to preserve the dignity
of the poor and struggling.
So we walk unblinkingly past Lazarus,
the other beggars and the charity-rattlers;
consciously distracted, intent
upon our many worthy preoccupations,
and quietly uttering words of gratitudefor our numerous blessings.
© 2010 Ken Rookes