Poet’s Corner

An Ice-cream Scoop

She is overwhelmed
And perhaps in a bit of shock
As I extend my hand toward hers
Her thank you
Are the most sincere words
I have ever heard uttered

She has been asking the cashier
For the total after each item is rung
Clutching her wallet
Trying to calculate
What she will be able to bring home

She looks at me and nervously says
I know it is only an ice-cream scoop
But he has been admiring it for a year

He has fine taste
He will be a man of action
I respond
I know my words are ridiculous
But I am awash in her agony
The boy continued to click the lever
Releasing make believe ice-cream

She continues to explain
Though I am neither owed
Nor in search of an explanation
I understand
Without her saying a word
Most of the moment is more than familiar
Not just to me
But to most of us

She tries to contemplate how our gesture
Will impact the moment
While repeating Thank You endlessly
Our hearts break for her and her son

She tells me her brother has sent her a gift card
I smile warmly
And say how very nice

She says her son understood
When she told him
That they must use the card to buy food
She would like to buy him the ice-cream scoop
He continues to play with the ice-cream scoop
Though there is no ice-cream in their basket
He is such a good boy she tells me
All he wanted for Christmas
Was the ice-cream scoop
I turn back to our cart
And we catch each other’s eye
Our gesture is not enough
I thank God we are in agreement
And as discreetly as I can
I once again extend my hand toward hers

She is in a state of unbelief
Her son asks what it is
Her answer is simple and true
He reaches out and she surrenders
The gift to him
He holds it and continues to ask his mother questions

She apologizes to us
Says she knows she is holding us up
And the cashier has made her irritation
Well known to us all
I can barely contain my self
As I witness her pain and sorrow
And joy and hope
I tell her we are not in a rush
And that we have all been there

She continues to tell me
That she cannot believe it
While trying to answer her son’s questions
And conclude her business with the cashier
Explaining that even though the gift card
No longer has value
Her son would like to keep it
The cashier returns the spent card to the boy

She looks back at us again
And I simply say
Merry Christmas
And God bless you
She stands in front of the store
Hugging her son
In tears
Trying to explain what has happened
We are not confused by what has happened

She has allowed us to be blessed
God has used this woman and her son
To restore us from a cut so deep
We thought it might never heal
As we drive away
We see him playing with his ice-cream scoop
There is hope

~ Cristina Jill Mosqueda ~

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