What do you tell the children
who find no quarters under their
pillows – the missing gift of the
tooth fairy – when the proper
homage has been paid?
What do you tell the sad little girl
whose stocking is empty
Christmas morn – after leaving the
last cookie and a small cup of
milk – the thanks for the Santa
who never came?
What do you tell the young boy
who has no basket to leave on
the table – decorated with colorful
paper eggs and filled with shredded
newspaper – and all that’s inside are
a few stale jelly beans?
What do you tell the teenager
whose fifteenth birthday came and
went – with no party, no gifts, no
happy times – to mark the majestic
coming of age?
What do you tell the lonely ones
who never get a heart-shaped card
or candies – a sign of friendship and
love – who had only wished that just
one person would care?
What do you tell the little ones
who have no feast to cram into
their mouths – in honor of those who
survived – and so bite into stale
peanut butter sandwiches?
What do you tell all the unloved
children, young and old, who rise
day after day – wanting nothing more
than a gentle hug – and receive
harsh words instead?
For some children have everything
they could ever want while others
have nothing but emptiness – no
hope for more – the rejoicing washes
over, leaving not a drop of joy.
Let us cry for them
And then pick up our mantle
Of gentleness and offer whatever we can,
Whatever small bit of joy
Lurking in cabinets and pantries
Deliver it to a charity
Where we can witness the joy
That abounds in simple giving.