I performed numerous calculations.

I tried to stretch the money inventively.

But it was like juggling disappearing

coins. After the rent was taken off,

there was this miserable sum, barely

enough for a mean tray of eggs, and

maybe a carton of milk. I felt like I was

going to explode. I didn’t want to busk

on the street. I couldn’t demean myself.

I thought of making a cardboard placard,

and begging for coins. I’d bring William.

We’d cut a sorry sight. Passers-by would

be moved. Our collection tin would fill

rapidly. The image lingered appealingly

for a while. Then I put on my boots. I

simply had to see Mrs Eames.

Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist

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