The Most Beautiful Flower

a poem by Mabel Annie Chacko

The park bench was deserted,
As I sat down to read,
Beneath the long straggly branches,
Of an old willow tree.

Disillusioned by life,
With a good reason to frown-
For the world was intent,
In dragging me down.

And if that weren’t enough
To ruin my day,
A young boy approached me,
All tired from play.

He stood right before me,
With his head tilted down…
And said with great excitement,
“Look what I found!”

In his hand was a flower,
And what a pitiful sight!
With all its petals worn-
Not enough rain, or too little light.

Wanting him to take
His dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a smile,
And then shifted away.

But instead of retreating,
He sat next to me,
Lifted the flower to his nose
And declared with great surprise-
“It sure smells good, and its beautiful too,
That’s why I picked it;
Here, it’s for you.”

The weed before me,
Was dying or dead;
No vibrant colours:
Yellow, orange or red.

But I knew I must take it,
Or he may never leave…
So I reached for the flower,
And said, “Just what I need.”

But instead of placing the flower in my hand,
He held it mid-air, without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed,
For the very first time,
That weed-totting boy couldn’t see:
He was blind.

I heard my voice quiver,
Tears shone in the Sun,
As I thanked him for picking,
The very best one.

“You’re welcome”, he smiled,
And then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact,
He had made on my day.

I sat there and wondered,
How he managed to see,
A self-pitying woman,
Beneath an old willow tree.

How did he know of
My self-indulged plight?
Perhaps his heart,
Had been blessed with true sight.

Through the eyes of a blind child,
Atlast I could see,
The problem wasn’t with the world,
The problem was with me.

And for all those times…
I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life,
And appreciate every second that’s mine.

And then I held the wilted flower
Upto my nose,
And breathed the fragrance,
Of a beautiful rose.

And smiled as I watched the young lad go,
With another weed in hand…
About to change the life,
Of an unsuspecting old man.

Then came another message,
As true as it could be:
Flowers do leave fragrance,
No matter how withered they may be.