Perspectives On Poverty- 1.

Down by the tree of knowledge,
the park end of Gertrude Street,
Fred was there, aggressively derelict,
on his clothes the accretions
of a thousand meals, drinks, dust and spills.
-Are you well off? he prods.
-A sheepish, yes, I suppose so.
-Do you live in a big house?
-I suppose you have a car?
-Nice furniture?
-Maybe even a boat?
– And a garden?
Guilt, confusion, hasty reassessment
of what had become a shaky interaction.
Ah-ha, said Fred,
drawing out the vowels with flourish,
you are not as well off as I am.
There is one thing you lack,
he declaimed
with a sweeping gesture
as he turned to survey the scene behind.
You do not have, as I have,
this magnificent fountain
(a Victorian extravaganza)
cascading in your garden.
The boldness of his gesture
matched the truth of his words,
caught the curve and fall,
the grace and the light
of water on water and water.