Some bum accosted me on the street;
“Spare change, nephew? I need a new hat.”
He held his stovepipe hat out upside down;
it was colored blue, white and red
spangled with stripes and stars,
battered, worn, and slightly askew.
“Sam,” I said, for it was none other,
“You don’t look too well. What’s wrong?”
“You don’t want to hear my life story - ” he muttered,
“- that’s true - ” I agreed.
“So let’s just say I need the dough.
Money rules the world, you know;
so how about it, nephew?”
“Why do you keep calling me nephew?
I know who my relatives are.”
“All right then,” he grinned, “I’ll put it this way;
there’s no use calling the cops,
I am the cops.”
“So what is this,” I asked, “a stickup?”
He handed me a bill. “This is what you owe me.”
I read the note and cried “Ouch!”
“And remember,” he said, donning his hat,
“Filing date is April 15.”