Brightly colored, plastic petals,
Atop green wire stems,
Flowers at the Five and Dime,
The boy stared, entranced with them.
Plastic flowers cannot wilt,
They will bloom forever,
Even in the dead of Winter,
No petals could be better
And such pretty colors, too,
Yellows, purples, reds, and whites,
The boy knew at once,
They were what his Mom would like.
He counted out his money,
Too short; he didn't have enough,
He eyed the flowers longingly,
But they simply cost too much.
He touched a flower with his finger,
It bounced away and back,
It shimmered in the Dime Store light,
It made the boy laugh.
If he gave his Mom such flowers,
She would smile ...  maybe cry,
But what a perfect Christmas gift,
The little fellow sighed.
Wistfully, he stood and watched
Other people in the store,
Who bought so many Christmas gifts,
Their arms could hold no more.
Then he saw a little girl,
Pleased, too, by the plastic blooms,
Oh oh!  She dropped some on the floor,
They broke and scattered cross the room.
The lad picked up the broken petals,
And their bent and twisted stems,
The clerk reached to take them back,
Politely thanking him. 
As she started towards the trash,
The boy spoke up and said,
"Ma'am, if you don't want those flowers,
Could I buy them for less, instead?"
She sold them to the boy then,
For whatever cash he had,
And like solid gold, he took them home,
Proud and pleased ... no longer sad.
All Christmas Eve, he spent the night,
Gluing blooms and stems together,
And soon he had a grand bouquet,
With colors better mixed than ever.
The wind blew cold that Christmas morn,
And snow fell softly to the ground,
While at the city cemetery,
Colored plastic flowers were found.
Upon a grave they bounced and danced,
And spread their Christmas cheer,
And a small boy smiled with pride,
"Merry Christmas, Mama, dear!"
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright December 2004 

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Thank you, Margi Harrell, for your beautiful
"Silver Bells" and "Winter Wonderland."