by Stephen Joseph
THE HYPOCRITE
AND
THE ORPHANAGE
On the last day of every year

for as far back as I can remember

I clean out my house.

I look for the throwaways:

the torn, the ragged, the not working.

All the clothes that don’t fit

all the toys that don’t work

are dumped at the Bishop Cotton Orphanage.

Orphans going to meet other orphans.

There are around 60 children there—

society’s throwaways—forgotten and outcast.

The orphans don’t need my refuse, my waste;

they need my time and money.

Until December 31 of this year

I won’t think about the orphanage

and its daily struggles to feed its hungry wards.

I would like to go there and volunteer my time,

but I am stuck in the molasses of

running my business and taking my children to Cosmos Mall.

Till December 31 the most I can give

those spare children is a spare thought.

Any effort beyond that is time and money prohibitive.

Yes, I am a hypocrite but someday I hope to change.
HONORABLE
MENTION
Gemini Magazine
2011
POETRY
OPEN
Stephen Joseph’s poems and short stories have
been featured in The Smoking Poet, Inscribed,
Perspectives Magazine, Short Humour Site, Raving
Dove, Puffin Circus and elsewhere. His work has been
shortlisted in several contests, including Writer’s
Digest (Short Story and Poetry) and Humorpress.
com. Joseph (above), is a businessman who lives in
Bangalore India with his wife and two daughters.