I Deserve These, Right?
Her hand grazed the purple ones
Uncertainty twisted up her face.
I stood there watching, my bag on the ground between my feet,
as I waited for my friend.
Will she get them? I wondered.
Then she looked right at me -
A total stranger standing there,
And she asked, I deserve these, right?
I don’t know you.
But you are Woman, and I see you
In your doubt.
Your struggle to decide if you deserve.
Somewhere deep inside you Know
Because here you are contemplating it.
What stops you? What slows you down?
Have you not worked hard enough
For this bouquet?
My heart felt heavy.
I wanted to hug her and tell her
All the wondrous things about her
Simply because she exists.
And yet there we were in Brooklyn
On the street in a flower shop.
I took a breath and answered her,
Oh Yes, You Do.
And she smiled
And moved her hand to the white roses.
In that moment I felt her Decide.
I would choose the purple, because that’s my favorite.
And in that moment a memory flashed of when
A student of mine once asked,
Who bought you those flowers? that sat on my desk.
I happily exclaimed I bought them for myself!
Oh, that is so sad, she said.
Oh, young child, let me tell you all about
How deeply wonderful it is
To buy yourself flowers.
I watched the young girl’s entire world shift.
The woman put the white roses down.
I stood there still, waiting,
Hoping she will do it.
Her eyes scanned the lot and moved to a colorful bouquet.
I wanted to say, Choose the ones that really light you up, Woman!
But I didn’t.
I simply watched her wrestle and choose,
Knowing she may change her mind in an instant.
She walked past me and
I saw all of her: the beauty and the struggle.
And she walked away,
Colorful bouquet in hand,
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