Here sitting on an old park bench,
I watched the folks walk by.
They scurried here and scurried there
for something else to buy.
Surrounded by bright colored lights
were reindeer and a sleigh.
I saw a girl searching 'round
and this I heard her say,
"I can't find Jesus anywhere.
The stable's not in view.
The shepherds should be somewhere here.
The wise men should be too.
"Where is Christmas? Where is Christmas?"
she came to me and asked.
To answer her great question seemed
a hopeless, futile task.
I thought awhile before reply.
I hoped it would suffice.
I felt so dumb and speechless but
I offered this advice.
"You know, Christmas isn't Santa,
nor presents under tree.
It isn't fancy colored lights
nor anything we see.
"You can't find Christmas in the mall
or here along the street.
And Christmas isn't green or red.
All that is just deceit.
"Impressed, I am, how smart you are.
You question everything.
I'm glad you know of Jesus' birth
and why the church bells ring.
"No, Christmas isn't what they think
and these folks must admit -
if Christmas isn't in their hearts,
they'll simply never find it."
She stood there quiet for a bit,
then turned and walked away.
She walked in thought quite slowly, so
I prayed she was okay.
I hoped I didn't puzzle her
or tear her dreams apart...
But then she turned, called back to me,
"I have a great big heart!"
I didn't see her after that
but knew she'd be okay.
This bench and I hold memories
as others run astray.
This poem was a finalist in the November 2016 poetry contest