The Beggars of Plaza Las Delicias

by Brett Peruzzi


There are two beggars
at the Plaza Las Delicias
in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

One is old and one is young
and they traverse
the plaza’s edges
night and day
like the hands of a clock.

Over and over
they walk past
the looming cruciform walls
of the cathedral
a faint smell of incense and hint of coolness
seeping out its open door.

The stone lions and trickling waterspouts
of the Fuente de los Leones
whisper to the palm trees
nodding mutely above
while the bronze statue
of Luis Munoz Rivera
issues no judgement
of their penury.

They never seem to meet
in their respective rounds
of beseeching,
orbiting each other
from afar like planets,
clothes tattered and dirty
from sleeping on the ground,
hand outstretched,
but if they did
and their tired eyes met
would one see his squandered past
and the other his ruinous future?

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