The Antidote

out shopping I see
a little girl in her Mom’s shopping cart
still in her baby shoes
she laughs and kicks
keeps saying Hi to everyone
she has but two teeth yet
the mother blushes a bit and smiles
people in a wide radius are smiling and pointing
what a scene for a painting
my heart is pierced

a cashier I did not like much
because of her brusqueness and impatience with some people
I would not talk to her because of her manners
there came a day when one of her fellows passed out on the job
and hit his head
she was the first one to clear the area
call the ambulance
and cushion his head
yelling for a nurse or doctor
I see her differently now
I go through her line and give her my respect
I learned something

the girls at my wife’s work
see me bring her tea every day
they smile, think it’s funny
some are forward and chat me up
I joke around a little
it’s going on thirty years
one girl, there for the last five
so shy
I hardly see her say a word
my wife sends me there at Christmas time to return something
says to go and see that girl, she knows about it
we have never had a conversation
I do the return, make to leave, say Merry Christmas
She looks at me a bit strangely, I think I see a little tear
then throws her arms around me
says Merry Christmas! Then my name.
We both blush
I am awkward, I am awkward
but the sun has come out on this dark day.




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