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 out of breath 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!”

 daisy flower free stock photo

In his hand was a flower,

         and what a pitiful sight,

With its petals all worn—

         too little rain, 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 placed the flower to his nose

         and declared with surprise,


“It sure smells pretty

         and it’s beautiful too,

That’s why I picked it;

         here—it’s for you.”


But I knew I must take it,

         or he might never leave.

So I reached for the flower, and replied,

         “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

         …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 with me.


And for all 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.


I smiled as I watched that young boy,

         another weed in his hand

About to change the life

         of an unsuspecting old man.


By Cheryl L. Costello-Forshey, copyright © 1998. Used by permission.

Featured in:

Satan, You Can’t Have My Promises, pgs. 115-117. By Dr. Iris Delgado.

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