authenticity · family · fate · love

Retail Christmas: A Family Tale

‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through the store
not a creature was stirring, it was really a bore. 
But some time in the day as I walked back from lunch, 
a gentleman remarked, Gee you don’t hunch. 
What great posture you have, and a convo was struck 
as his wife later joined and we talked cardio stuff
He and I spoke of their trip from Vancouver,
his wife in a fight with their my-aged daughter
I listened and shared; it was strange to be sure
to stand in the racks of not-quite couture
and be talking about things that do really matter
and not prattle on with plastic-smiles, idle chatter.
I gave words of wisdom that were passed on to me
about just showing up and letting her be. 
We even talked of my dad, how things there are rotten;
he said try again, love is never forgotten. 
I have my own opinion and still question his advice
it was odd to talk about this, but somehow quite nice. 
Out came his wife, and we put things on hold,
I said a kind goodbye and to stay warm in the cold. 
But as the wife handed me her card and I entered her digits
She shared she and her daughter were really quite in it. 
I didn’t mention I knew, and just made the suggestion
Tell her you love her and are there to listen. 
We smiled, it was strange, and out of the norm
to be talking real life in this capitalist storm. 
A few hours later, my feet throbbing with pain,
I couldn’t wait to get out and back to the east bay. 
When a coworker said there’s someone looking for you,
around the corner came the wife & her husband, too. 
“I wanted to tell you,” she started to sob, 
“I took your advice while I tried on some bras.
“I texted my daughter I was hurt, but am here,
and, Look! She replied!” her face stained with tears.
I read from her phone, while her husband looked on
a bit happy and startled at her goings on.
“I wanted to tell you, I’m so glad we met,
I wouldn’t have been ready before what you said.”
We teared up, exchanged hugs in the DVF stacks,
a slice of what matters near a discount sale rack. 
They left that day a little lighter it seemed,
and I wondered if this is what ‘meant to be’ means. 
I don’t know why I’m there, in the overpriced store,
but for a minute I’m reminded what humanity’s for. 
And maybe it’s not to sell lots of clothes,
to perfect my eyeliner or hike up my hose. 
Instead I was given the gift of what’s real: 
On the day before Christmas, I helped a family heal. 
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