Monday, December 10, 2007

At the Mall (a poem)

At the Mall

Oh my word do I feel small
When I find me at the mall.
Humanity adorned in sweaters and coats
People cursing, shoving at each other's throats.

Often I find that this I do;
Find a bench and look anew
At each one with an eye of love
Trying hard my prejudices to rise above.

Over there looking frazzled I see
A woman that reminds me of Mayberry's Aunt Bee.
With her is a precious tiny baby
Not hers but a grandchild maybe.

In all the rush I see her place
A tiny angel kiss on that cherub's face.
She holds the child with loving care
I can't help myself, but stare.

Over there a sad, sad man
Looking desperate for a working plan.
Lost in the sea of busy faces,
I wonder if he's given up races.

Races for things that we take for granted
Unable to reap the seeds of friendship planted.
Across the space I send him a smile
Just to counteract the shopping bile.

Walking right in front of me
Is a happy family of three.
No packages yet can I see
But mirthful laughter full of glee.


I notice from just where I'm sitting
Their eyes often meet and they are knitting
A bond that will get them through
A life that often has a nasty hue.

Next to me two men sit.
With my big rump it's a tight, tight fit!
Their colognes mix with a wonderful smell.
A story I hear the taller one begin to tell:

“My mother called a while ago.
She wondered if I yet know
Whether to the family Christmas I'll come.
Her question made me feel so numb.

Christmas is for love not hate
And I'd rather spend it with my mate.
Since you are not wanted
We will face that day undaunted.

My family is now me and you.
Since we've been together my heart grew
To see the world as a loving place
Not as a dark, forbidding space.

Now I spy a woman crippled.
Looks to me life has her burdens tripled.
With a back that bends her almost double
You'd think her world would be full of trouble.

But, in my mind's eye I'm made to know
That this woman has an easy way to go.
Her face beams with twinkling eyes and smile
I wish she would stop and talk with me a while.

The people rushing to and fro
Not careful of the other's toe
They push and shove and curse and gripe.
If I'm not careful I'll think this is all tripe.

Humanity is not a waste!
But just like spices it's hard to taste
The flavor of each when they all whirl together.
So burst a down pillow and watch just one or two feathers.

Notice the way each moves this way and that
Not clumped together but following a path.
Sometimes they touch each other on the way.
Sometimes they bump each other in play.

If I stop and look closely
With a heart that is full of love mostly,
The mall can be a wonderful place
When I abandon the nasty rat race.

Each shopper has their own story.
Each story has its own glory,
That I listen with my eyes to find.
Oh God, just don't let my heart be blind!