Poet’s Corner

An Ice-cream Scoop

She is overwhelmed

And perhaps in a bit of shock

As I extend my hand toward hers

Her thank you

Are the most sincere words

I have ever heard uttered

She has been asking the cashier

For the total after each item is rung

Clutching her wallet

Trying to calculate

What she will be able to bring home

She looks at me and nervously says

I know it is only an ice-cream scoop

But he has been admiring it for a year


He has fine taste

He will be a man of action

I respond

I know my words are ridiculous

But I am awash in her agony

The boy continued to click the lever

Releasing make believe ice-cream

She continues to explain

Though I am neither owed

Nor in search of an explanation

I understand

Without her saying a word

Most of the moment is more than familiar

Not just to me

But to most of us

She tries to contemplate how our gesture

Will impact the moment

While repeating Thank You endlessly

Our hearts break for her and her son

She tells me her brother has sent her a gift card

I smile warmly

And say how very nice

She says her son understood

When she told him

That they must use the card to buy food


She would like to buy him the ice-cream scoop

He continues to play with the ice-cream scoop

Though there is no ice-cream in their basket

He is such a good boy she tells me

All he wanted for Christmas

Was the ice-cream scoop

I turn back to our cart

And we catch each other’s eye

Our gesture is not enough

I thank God we are in agreement

And as discreetly as I can

I once again extend my hand toward hers

She is in a state of unbelief

Her son asks what it is

Her answer is simple and true

He reaches out and she surrenders

The gift to him

He holds it and continues to ask his mother questions

She apologizes to us

Says she knows she is holding us up

And the cashier has made her irritation

Well known to us all

I can barely contain my self

As I witness her pain and sorrow

And joy and hope

I tell her we are not in a rush

And that we have all been there

She continues to tell me

That she cannot believe it

While trying to answer her son’s questions

And conclude her business with the cashier

Explaining that even though the gift card

No longer has value

Her son would like to keep it

The cashier returns the spent card to the boy

She looks back at us again

And I simply say

Merry Christmas

And God bless you

She stands in front of the store

Hugging her son

In tears

Trying to explain what has happened

We are not confused by what has happened

She has allowed us to be blessed

God has used this woman and her son

To restore us from a cut so deep

We thought it might never heal

As we drive away

We see him playing with his ice-cream scoop

There is hope

~ Cristina Jill Mosqueda ~

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