Theme: Charity

Big Issue

Big Issue1.jpg
He had migrated from the car park to
the sheltered entrance of the supermarket, cradling
his consignment of 'Big Issue' copies, ladling
these out in fantasy to passers-by, one by one...
when I approached, his friendly, eager face
confronted my hesitancy - how could I pass by?

But pass by I did, not without a smile, a 'Hi!'
that made it seem the right and proper thing
to do in the circumstances: just the greeting
paid the due to social etiquette that extracted
a mock reprisal for the turned down request
that quite un-made his day again, and left me to

Hasten on with my life: I didn't need Big Issue:
so why did I feel the need just then? Why did it dog
my steps like his detective eyes through the fog
of shoppers, waiting for me to purchase the exact
price equivalent -- in a lottery ticket:
I looked across the head-bob on the supermarket floor

To where the co-ordinates would place him: no
glimpse of him sanctioned my next move, to lift a form,
and to commence composing my six numbers:
a prayer I recited, that it be God's will alone
I scoop the jackpot - or not! - that to avail myself
of this opportunity was my duty, albeit infra dig:

Not burying my talent in my wallet, and not in Big
Issue either -- but that could be another pound, another
time, like if I saw him on the way out, my brother
in Christ -- ah, that was it! He derived his sustenance
from Jesus, could easily do without my money:
perspective was restored in a providential light.

I was certain I wouldn't win anything that night,
when tumbling balls preceded each withdrawal
of a certain random number: I was certain, so all
certain that this would be my turn the Big Issue
to sell; I would wave to fortune as a passer-by,
and, passed by, count myself blessed to praise God.

('The Big Issue' is a topical magazine with in-depth articles on social issues. By arrangement with the publishers, it is vended to the general public in public places in the U.K. by homeless people who keep a commission per sold copy.)


More By  :  R. D. Ashby

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