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Sidi J. Mahtrow


Children are our future


As I waited
Through the afternoon
In the Intensive Care section
Of the hospital,
I noticed a young mother
And her three children
Sitting there.
After a while she rose
And took the three
Outside the waiting room
For it was obvious
That she intended to go
To the restroom.

But what to do with the three kids?
She would have to leave them
Unattended as there wasn't room
Inside the room for all three.
Her solution was unique.
She gave the oldest
A crumpled dollar bill
Which she took from her pocket
And indicated that they
Could buy something
From one of the vending machines
In the hall.
With that she left them.

The three stood there in amazement.
Never had they seen
Such a treasure trove
From which they could
Make a selection.

The giant soft drink machine
With bottles of so many named products,
All cold,
And right there for the taking.
And next,
A candy assortment
In another machine.
All bright and colorful
In wrappers;
Some like M and Ms
That could be shared
Or others
Where they would have to take
Individual bites.
But not to be ignored
Were the packaged treats
Of crackers and crisp and chips
Hanging there ready to dropp
With the deposit of their dollar bill.

What to do?
The boy gave the bill
To his youngest sister
For her to choose.

And she marched up to the first machine
With dollar in hand
To make her decision
For the three.
But wait with all the choices,
What would it be?
She stopped,
Then moved to the soft drink dispenser
For surely that would be the best choice.
No, better to have something
They could better share
So she moved in front
Of the packaged treats.
And yet, the candy
Was surely something
That would be right.

It was just too difficult a choice
For one so young,
so she gave the crumpled bill
To her older sister.

Certainly that was a wise choice
For it appeared
That each might like
something different.
So why not let her choose for the three.

Something to eat
Maybe since they had been
Waiting there so long.
Or a drink,
But the water fountain
Would do as well.
So candy was the best of all choices.
But no,
Her brother would know what to do
So she gave the bill back to him.
He could choose.

He stood there for a moment
And then placed the bill
Against the face of the candy machine
And carefully smoothed it out
So that it lay flat in his hand.
George Washington's face
While still wrinkled,
Surely would be seen to smile.
So big brother had decided.
He was ready to make a choice.

Mother at this time
Came back from the rest room
And saw her three standing there.
Her son carefully placed the dollar in her hand.

Surely they would have a Blessed Christmas for they were Family.

Submitted: Sunday, December 23, 2007
Edited: Tuesday, May 03, 2011

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