Surprised by Joy

Joy works nights at WalMart as a second job.
But she rings up customers like she’s in love.
“Did you find everything OK, sir?”
I give her a quizzical look, “Yeah. Sure.”

She smiles at me through tired eyes.
I ask her: “how do you do it? Work mornings and nights?”
“I’ve got to pay bills for my husband and me.”
I loved her then for working so tirelessly.

Then walked away aware of our poverty:
Though she was rich in faith, what about me?
No. I don’t share her qualities.
Perhaps, that’s the worst kind of poverty.

Seeing others struggle and just saying goodbye
Without asking them how or why
Or chipping in to help them along.
What’s a few bucks to give someone who’s down.

But perhaps she’s the teacher of me
Knows what it means to truly be free;
Knows suffering in a way the rich don’t understand.
They’re too busy barking out unreasonable commands.

But there were no demands from the love in her eyes,
Only a hard-earned joy that caught me by surprise.

Posted in Perspective, Poem for Your Day, Poetry