My Three Hoboes
by Vernon Scannell
In the bullion bar of a bright hotel
I gave three tramps a splendid feed.
Though I was poor, I fed them well,
Knowing the acreage of their greed.
All around, the double-chinned,
The thin and plump of various ages,
Lacquered with privilege, golden-skinned
Because they paid the sun good wages,
Laughed and drank and did not see
The scruffy hoboes I’d brought there;
In fact, they did not notice me
But we watched them with our reptile stare.
We watched the blonde boys and their trulls
Whose taut instructive favours draped
Hard uniform of bones and skulls;
We eyed the stout papas and gaped
At slender daughters’ pulchritude
But not a glance came back our way
As I provided yet more food
For my rough guests.
I always pay
When my familiar vagrants come
To these palatial joints with me –
Lust and loathing and the other bum,
Envy, strongest of the three.