The Park Bench


The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read
Under the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown
For the world was intent on dragging me down

And if that weren’t enough, to ruin my day
A young boy approached me, all tired from play

He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, “Look what I found!”

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight
With its petals all worn – not enough rain, or too little light
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play
I faked a small smile and then shifted away

But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose
And declared with overacted surprise

“It sure smells pretty and it’s beautiful, too.
That’s why I picked it; here, it’s for you.”
The weed before me was dying or dead
Not vibrant of colours: orange, yellow or red

But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave
So I reached for the flower and said, “Just what I need.” But instead of him placing the flower in my hand
He held it mid-air, without reason or plan

It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind

I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one
“You’re welcome,” he smiled, and then ran off to play
Unaware of the impact he’d had on my day

I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying person beneath an old willow tree
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he’d been blessed with true sight

Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me And for all of those times, I myself had been blind
I vowed to appreciate every second that’s mine

And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
I smiled at the young boy with another weed in his hand
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man

Use your eyes to see not to judge

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