Sonnet 3

I took some change from my pocket and gave
It to a beggar on the street who asked
Me if I knew of Gideon and his past.
To me those ancient men are naught but slaves.
I answered, “Yes, I’ve spoken with a god,”
But said It speaks to me as if I’m but
A sheep with no shepherd or wool to cut.
I said the beggar’s path with It I trod.
He said, “There’s more in the bottle of life
Than just to drink the milk and miss the cream.”
I left him there to beg of others’ time
Not knowing who was in need, him or me.
Some coffee warmed my chest more than my brain.
And paupers don’t take cream if they’re insane.

— Circa 1971