The Crystal Wisdom of Innocence


“Look what I have!” She showed me the small orange ball. “Can you open it?”

I ‘opened it’. She stood on the steps of the school porch and I sat next to her, so our faces were on a level. She ate sticky, citrus-scented sections and we talked about the things we could see.

“Do you want this?” She held out half of her orange.

I did want it. I like oranges and it smelled delightful. But I hesitated.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

She was sure. She gave it to me, and together we ate our halves.


Later, when I was gathering my things, she asked me what did I have? Oh, I had a half-empty bag of crackers. I showed it to her.

“Can I have it?” she asked.

I paused. But really, why not? I was going home and I wouldn’t starve without these few crackers.

She accepted them easily and she was munching on them when I left a few minutes later.


A little thing, these exchanges. Small amounts of food, gone in minutes; probably forgotten by her almost as soon. But she left me fascinated, this black-eyed angel-child who gave and took with equal freedom. Why is it so hard for me to do the same?

How Came You Here?


But why are you here?

Glowing in the town-lit darkness

far from your green-growing sisters.

Were you

a grubby, child-fisted gift?

But who would drop that?

Perhaps you were

a token of unwanted love

cast away.

Or maybe

one among many

discarded for your imperfections.

Or maybe

a young girl plucked you

held you

petals brushed against her cheek

yellow fastened in her hair

til distraction tossed you aside.

I don’t know

why you were left

in a Starbucks parking lot.

But for me

you are unexpected

and bruised

and beautiful.