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Alms to the Giver

Text of Poem

The mail this morning made me
wonder if the plethora of ‘‘worthy causes’’
divides us into givers and takers.
The begging letters half-fill the
waste basket—money, money, as if
we owned a goose that laid a golden egg.
Someone is eager for our answer,
one envelope marked ‘‘Urgent,’’ two
marked ‘‘Important’’ and one ‘‘Your
Greatest Opportunity.’’ Such concern
should puff me up until I notice
an enclosed envelope to make it
easy for my reply.
My vision is limited. Instead of a
multitude waiting to divide my
scant loaves and fishes, I imagine
a marvellous creature who stops
polishing her nails to open my letter
and when the check spills out she calls,
‘‘Hey, Bert, another sucker bit the dust.’’

First Line
The mail this morning made me
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
The Davidson Miscellany 18.2 (Fall 1982) 15.
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