A friend tells me that some of the students from my summer English class at the Salvation Army Children’s Home are singing Christmas songs at a shopping mall within walking distance of my apartment. I make the 20-minute walk, hoping that my friend is correct.
Halfway across the parking lot, I hear enthusiastic young voices. There are the children, singing their hearts out in front of a huge artificial Christmas tree.
Instead of walking right up to the singers, I find a bench about 30 feet away from them and ease myself down. I wonder if any of them will even notice me.
Not even two minutes after I’ve gotten comfortable on the bench, the tallest of the singers, one of my students from June, looks in my direction. She smiles hesitantly, as if she doesn’t quite believe her eyes. Then she looks again, and beams with unbridled joy.
close to Christmas Eve
sharpening my paring knife
to peel three mangos
Text and photo © 2016 by Mark M. Redfearn, all rights reserved