The Most Beautiful Flower

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read,
beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.

Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
for the world was intent on dragging me down.
And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,
a young boy approached me, all tired from play

He stood right before me
with his head tilted down
and said with great excitement,
"Look what I found!"
In his hand was a flower,
and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn -
not enough rain, or too little light.

Wanting him to take his dead flower
and go off to play,
I faked a small smile
and then shifted away.

But instead of retreating
he sat next to my side
And declared with overacted surprise,
"It sure smells pretty
and it's beautiful, too.
That's why I picked it; here, it's for you."

The weed before me was dying or dead,
not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it,
or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower, and replied,
"Thanks, just what I need."

but instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
he held it mid-air without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed
for the very first time
that weed-toting boy could not see~
he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver,
tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking
the very best one.
"You're welcome," he smiled,
and then ran off to play,
unaware of the impact
he'd had on my day.

I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know
of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart,
he'd been blessed with true sight.

Through the eyes of a blind child,
at last I could see
The problem was not with the world;
the problem was me.

And for all of those times
I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life,
and appreciate every second that's mine.

And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy,
another weed in his hand,
about to change the life
of an unsuspecting old man.

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