Hungry Ghost

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In a small-town dollar store
on an average Wednesday afternoon,
there is an angry child with wild eyes;
her clenched fists
holding a plastic doll with a pink hat,
beating the air in rage.

Quite simply and eloquently
she lets know
whomever is listening,
that she wants what she wants,
and in that moment
that is all she knows
or cares to know.

The mother stands looking at the child,
or rather, oblivious,
looks through the child,
to an incident or a feeling
from her own life
that had been lost some time before
and then found;
a familiar pain of longing
or recognition.

Then awakening from her remembrance,
the mother placed her shopping basket on the floor,
bends to her knees,
caresses the child,
and for what seems like several minutes,
but was actually only one,
they share something transcendent.

There is nothing spoken,
but the child seems to understand,
becomes calm,
places the doll back on the shelf,
and looks to the mother.

The mother picks up the child,
and holding her close,
pays for her crackers and tissues,
and they leave the store.

I know,
that what I,
an old man,
want,
is to feel
held……

in that way.

4 thoughts on “Hungry Ghost

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