Poetry at Sangam



THE BEGGAR by Andrei Guruianu

Enough to make a grown man
weep into the palm of his hand,
mothers to tear at their breast.

At night someone always comes
to collect whatever’s in his hat.
Leave him with a piece of bread.

Listen to him as you walk at night
holding a woman’s delicate hand,
which you can’t help but squeeze

just a little bit tighter when you see
this boy, no bigger than his accordion,
at the entrance to lovers’ lane,

playing something vaguely familiar,
a tune that looks impossible to play
using only the stumps of his hands.