*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!"

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 placed the flower 
to his nose 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,
"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 like 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.

10-9-02                                                        Author Unknown