DON'T FORGET THE CHANGE

How often do we cross paths with people only for a moment…then

once that moment’s over… our paths never cross again?

 

 

She came into the bookstore with her mom…they went to separate nooks.

Her mom headed to the latest fiction…she…to children’s books.

 

She quickly found a book…then sat in a chair to read it…

“Mom!” I heard her yell across the store….“You see this book…I need it!”

 

“You still have some birthday money.” her mom said, “take it out…and count.

You can buy that book all by yourself…if you have the right amount.

 

“Can you tell me how much this book is?” she asked in a voice low and refined…

“Sure.” I said as I smiled at her.  “That’ll be eight dollars…ninety-nine.

 

She reached into her pocket…I could tell that she was thrilled

as she laid out on the counter… a pile of crumpled bills.

 

She counted each one to herself…at a slow and steady pace

and when she finished counting…a smile crossed her face.

 

“I’m pretty sure I have enough.” she said proudly…(this time I was thrilled)

As she handed me in her outstretched hands…nine still crumpled bills.

 

I counted each one as I un-crumpled them…I said, “Why yes you do.”

(I didn’t have the heart to tell her with tax…it came to nine dollars sixty-two.”)

 

Luckily in my pocket…I had my own crumpled dollar bill

which, when she wasn’t looking, I slipped into the till.

 

I rang her up, handed her the book…and with everything arranged

she started to walk away when I called out, wait…don’t forget your change…

 

I handed her the thirty-eight cents…and her smile…I’ll never forget

Just to see that smile on her face was worth going one crumpled dollar in debt…

 

I wonder if the lesson here as we randomly encounter people

as pleasantries we exchange…

Is to understand if we’re lucky 

 

we all leave with a little change.


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Don't forget the change.

In AA I share that I try to make every day a 12th step.  You have captured the spirit of that understanding in this poem.  Excellent write.  ---    Stephen