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Time and Again

An old woman insistent as rain
stands at my table, presses
her begging bowl between
me and the poem I have been
writing. Without a thought,
I wave her away; but she does not
move, and I look up. Meeting her eyes,
there is nothing to be done
but to place a coin in the bowl
and thank whatever gods are patient
enough to wait time and again
on my reluctant humanity.