Bows for Her Hair

All that she wanted was bows for her hair.
She already had a teddy bear;
his name was Rusty, his color was too,
a little bit faded but still she was true to that bear,
carried him everywhere. She didn’t see him as tattered
and old, instead she saw his heart of pure gold.

She didn’t mind having no shoes, but my
how she wanted some scarlet bows
to pin in her long curly hair.
Hope grew in her heart that maybe this year
Santa would bring her some bows
for her hair.

She would stand outside
and stare through the window
of the dry goods store,
past all the candy, and so much more
until her eyes would happen to spy
the ribbons in colors that made her sigh.

Not purple, not yellow, nor orange she adored.
She looked and she hoped for the scarlet bows there
and dreamed how they’d look in her long dark hair.
Old spinster, Ms. Wilson, had never been noted
for generous portions nor balances unquoted.
She ran her shop with profit in mind
and that waif at the window
was not spending a dime.

With no trace of a smile, she went to the door,
What is it you want, you ramshackle girl?
With a smile only the innocent have been known to wear,
the little girl said, I’d like some bows for my hair.

Her blue eyes were wide and free from all guile
and the frugal old spinster glared down at the child.
Do you have money to buy them? If not, go away.
Go on now, do you hear what I say?

The little girl struggled with the tear
that would fall and squaring her shoulders
and standing quite tall, she said in a voice
with never a quaver,

All right, Miss, I’ll go, I didn’t mean no harm. 
It’s just when I look at your ribbons and bows,
I forget that it’s cold, they make me feel warm
and pretty too. I’m sorry that I’ve upset you.

With that she turned and started away,
but even the spinster felt the spirit that day,
Wait! Can you sweep a floor?
Do you know how to dust? Where do you live?

Can I trust you to come here each day
and straighten the shop? I’ll pay
in copper pennies and ribbons of red, I’ll make
you a dress, and see that you’re fed.

And suddenly the old lady stopped short
with a laugh,
My goodness, she said, It is Christmas at last.



6 thoughts on “Bows for Her Hair

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