I drove right through the changing light,
Horns blowing as I went.
I had to make just one more store,
Before the day was spent.

I swerved in time to miss a man,
Who held a cardboard sign.
A homeless man, who’d work for food;
So glad I’d braked in time.

I parked my ride and looked around,
Then groaned at what I saw.
A sea of cars parked everywhere.
The world was at the mall!

Oh man,” I thought, “it comes again,
The season of excess.
When want and greed are king and queen,
And reign in selfishness.”

But smiling wide I grabbed my purse.
This was my time to shop,
And for the homeless on the streets
I had no time for thought!

But just outside the store front door,
A homeless woman sat.
She was dirty and disgusting,
A child sat on her lap.

She looked at me with pain filled eyes,
She seemed to read my mind.
“I could be you”, she mouthed the words,
“Some place, some other time”.

I turned my head, I walked right past.
My conscience now was sore.
With every purchase that I made,
I’d see her at the door.

Then passing by a manger scene,
I stopped and stared awhile,
The Virgin and her baby were
The woman and her child!

Remembering her pain filled look,
And how she’d read my mind;
“I could be you,” she mouthed the words
“Some place, some other time.”

With no more thought I turned around,
My Christmas I would share!
But the woman and her baby,
They were no longer there.

Just a note upon the sidewalk.
A scribbled cardboard sign;
“I could be you”, she wrote to me.
“Some place, some other time.”

© Donna Sue Berry
Christmas 2010

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