I handed him the gift bag and forced myself to look
Directly into his eyes. Merry Christmas.
It was a struggle. My smile was forced and I blinked quickly
To keep back stubborn tears revealing
My compassion and my guilt.
Thank you, ma’am, you have a blessed day.
He gave me a crooked smile and walked away with a little more energy.
The morning was quiet, warm and humid, and the sun was still rising.
Fifteen minutes later, all the gift bags were gone.

They want us to come back, one man ran over to say as he grabbed
The last one, taking it to share with a colleague over smiles.
We said our last goodbyes, vowing to return and then drove home
From a world only miles from my own, yet feeling so far.
That night, I prayed for more compassion, guilt, and gift bags
Because there is never enough.

Photo provided by: unsplash-logoNina Strehl

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