Gifting | Ben Kohler
Last night at the shelter
Nonnie was supervising.
The tattered and shivering straggled in—
some alone, others with children—
to claim beds and floor pads for the night.
Her bucket of pencils, paper and paint
invited idle hands to ply into crafting
rather than to stagnate on laps
and hollow eyes to splash colors in play
than to stare at blank walls
and await the solace of sleep.
On finishing with art time
one little girl’s smile
offered her painting to Nonnie,
who told her it was so beautiful
it best be displayed
in the girl’s own special place.
But the girl’s eyes of surprise
wrenched Nonnie’s heart
and opened her arms to the gift,
for the little girl’s giving
was saying that without Nonnie
there would be no home
for her work of art.