The Unsettling Dilemma

The Unsettling Dilemma short poem

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One fine evening as we sat around, our spirits gay,
She came towards us, palms bowl-shaped, eyes accustomed to implore,
Though filled with anguish, yet determined, they seemed to say,
“A tiny morsel, a little coin, nothing more!”

Though the act devoid of dignity, she was a picture of pride.
I couldn’t but help marvel at this amazing paradox
Her clothes in shreds, her feet bare, still resolute eyed,
Her unflinching gaze, I didn’t have the heart to mock.

As I was about to give in, I was cut short
Engage in some productive work- to her was the unanimous advice.
Lazy means to easy money, we tolerate nothing of the sort.
Reason and Logic agreed, begging was a sinful vice.

But a part of me refused to agree, was it right to preach?
Aren’t there times we’re tempted to cheat, follow the shorter way?
Try all means to evade hard work, rules to always breach?
Yet we command the ship of life and she helplessly drifts away!

By some stroke of luck what I happen to possess, should I not share?
Though her act was wrong and t’would do her no good,
Were I in her shoes, of good and bad would I have been aware?
The unsettling dilemma I couldn’t resolve and I watched her as there she stubbornly stood!

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Meghana Joshi

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Intelligent, original, sensitive, warm, honest...the list is unending.... Do I need to elaborate?
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4 Comments on "The Unsettling Dilemma"

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Keith Wilson

Extremely compassionate. More subject matter as this are needed. Thank you for touching an important part of me.


We must value what we have and must have empathy. A moving poem.


Very nice expression. All of us in India can identify with what you are saying. It echoes and resonates with us – this dilemma you have so beautifully expressed.


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