The Bench

The Bench

“Please,” the man said, “if you wouldn’t mind,”

And at first I believed he was thoughtful and kind

He pondered a moment, then pointed to where

A rustic old bench sat under the stair

 

“There are others whose dress is better selected

Whose hair and accoutrements are more keenly collected

But you may observe and keep watch from that place

A distance apart from the revelers’ gaze”

 

Although his words pierced as a sword through my soul

I timidly moved to my place in the hole

Knowing I never would join in the fray

And the bench became my companion that day

 

My ragged appearance could not match the rest

Yet my heart beat the same inside of my chest

As I stroked the rough planks of the bench where I waited

My dream of acceptance would not this day be sated

 

Countless long hours the bench was my friend

Neither shame nor my loneliness came to an end

For my eyes held no beauty, my gait showed no grace

The bench’s cruel judgment was etched on my face

 

‘Til the moment a man came, looked into my eyes

Smiled, took my hand in His, to my surprise

He led me so tenderly, whispered, “There’s more,”

And I feared He might ask me to sit on the floor

 

I could not still my heart from its penitent race

As He tenderly pulled back the hair from my face

“You are lovely,” He said. “It is so clear to Me,

You are patient and gentle and kind as could be.”

 

I gasped in His presence, it was clear He had seen

Every tear I had wept, every anguishing dream

And He smiled and He pointed to the front of the hall

Before all of the guests who had come to His ball

 

“You will never again sit away from the throng

On that horrid old bench where you do not belong

For you are My princess, honored and blessed

From now ‘til forever you’ll be properly dressed

 

“You have not been forgotten, you have not been alone

I have seen you seated back there from My throne

Receive all I have for You, My darling, My prize

Today I will relish the light in your eyes”

 

How tragic to see, if I only had known

The bench was a stop on my way to His throne

I’d have held my head high, been proud of my name

For the bench and my value were never the same.

 

 © 2012, Cindy Burrell, All Rights Reserved

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