At The Rich Man's Gate

[after Luke 16]


The rich man stepped outside his silvered doors
and stared hard at the beggar near the gate:

amazed, he watched his well-bred dogs' compassion

(not human, but humane in canine fashion)

as they licked foul pus from the beggar's sores.

The rich man shuddered with intense revulsion---

how could his dogs (without bribe or compulsion)
treat that poor wretch just like one of their pups?

His guests inside were making merry.  Cups

were filled to brimming; and, upon the floor's

smooth tiles crumbs fell, spilling out of each plate.


The beggar died.  The rich man, too:  he burned

in Hell, alone, his plea for water spurned---

not one drop; and no one, longer, concerned.





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