I stopped for a quick taco

One wicked, frigid night.

I sat in my car to eat it,

Heater on,  snug and tight.

I stared off into space,

Not thinking ’bout very much

Until my eyes focused

On a sight that made me clutch.

There was a man

Across the parking lot,

Kneeling on the ice,

Hammering at a single spot.

He wore only a hoodie,

No gloves, no hat, no coat.

It really made such little sense;

Where was his winter coat?

I sat there watching while I ate,

My muscles getting tense.

And as I sat there wondering,

I began to take offense.

This man, this freezing person,

Had been sent to chip the ice

Off a front parking spot, with a hammer –

a Hammer!… to chip the ice!

He was unaware I was watching.

He just did what he’d been told.

I figured his manager was a dick,

To send him coatless into the cold.

I did not say a word to him.

He never looked toward my car.

I started it up, and drove away,

just down the street,  not  far.

I went into King Soopers,

Bought Ice Melt and  winter gloves,

Then drove back to the fast food place

Everyone knows and loves.

I pulled up very near him,

Hauled out the bag of Melt,

Then handed him the gloves,

Unsure just how he felt.

He took them, and he turned his back

As he pulled them on his hands.

I saw his shoulders shake before he turned again,

Opening the bag, tearing off the bands.

I wish I’d had a heavy coat

To keep him warm and well.

I wish I’d stormed back in the shop

to give his manager hell.

Instead I headed off to home

With just a small, quick wave.

He waved back, then back to work.

It’s a good memory to save.


In this day of loud resistance, screaming protests, major demonstrations, it is easy to think you have to do something big to make a difference.  Sometimes, though,  one person can do the most for another by just being aware they are there.

Life can be hard…look for ways to soften it, eh?












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