Nothing There For Me

Pretty paper gaily wrapped the presents on the tree,
Boys and girls all gathered round, as happy as could be;
I stood and watched a minute and I began to smile,
Such happiness was written on the face of every child.

Then I heard a smothered sob and turned around to see
A little girl, who softly said, 'There's nothing there for me.'
I knelt beside the child and asked, 'Why should you be left out?
There is enough for everyone. What is this all about?'

Her little red capped head hung down, she scuffed her worn boot toe,
She hugged her faded, threadbare coat, her voice was soft and low;
'You see, I have no Daddy, he died upon the sea.
Mommy has been sick all year. There's nothing there for me.'

She turned as if to walk away, I caught her little hand,
'Wait till I return,' I said, 'and we'll listen to the band.'
In minutes I was back again and I was there to see
When Santa gave that little girl the biggest present on the tree.

She gazed in awe, then slowly took the wrapping from the gift,
The happy smile upon her face gave my heart such a lift;
She dropped the box and gently hugged the toy store's biggest doll,
Then looking up, she ran to me and hugged me - doll and all.

She whispered 'Thanks.' and then she said 'I really must go home
And show my pretty doll to Mom; she's waiting there alone.'

The true meaning of Christmas was very clear to see,
Because I heard a small voice say: 'There's nothing there for me.'

© F. Herridge
Published in Downhome Magazine, Dec 2005



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