The Card

by Mark Stellinga

© 2005 Mark Stellinga, all rights reserved.

went to the five and ten cent store
With a handful of nickels and dimes,
And, pausing beside cash register,
(Iíd seen prob'ly hundreds of times),

Just like a lot of his regular customers,
Had to tell old Mr. Breece...
Of all of things in his really old store...
That was my favorite piece.

When strolling along with a grin on my face,
A fun little trip back in time...
I came to the greeting cards, neatly displayed,
So many were written in rhyme.

Iíve always liked reading the greeting cards.
It seemed they would brighten my day.
The birthdays, the weddings...the holiday ones...
Such wonderful things they would say.

But all of a sudden I found I was reading
A card that was in the wrong place.
The words that I read brought a tear to my eye,
As the smile disappeared from my face.

Who in the world would put this kind of card
In the slot where the birthdays should be?
So I put it back where the darn thing belonged...
With the last cards I wanted to see,

The ones about death. The ones about sorrow.
Yes...this was the sympathy kind.
I quickly read more of the happier ones,
But the "death" one just stuck in my mind.

It worked like a poison, slowly but surely.
I knew it would ruin my day.
And I still remember the sadness I felt
As I angrily went on my way.

It wasnít the fault of the kindly old merchant,
Or the tender words penned by the bard...
I blame the stinker who chose the selection...
Then heartlessly misplaced the card.