Disillusioned with my world ... alone, I formed a plan,
To take a small vacation to a far exotic land;
I left behind a host of tears, and saw the local sights,
Relaxed by day upon the beach, and tried the clubs at night.
I checked off all the highlights from the travel log I'd brought,
But yearned for new discoveries of things it listed not;
I hopped aboard a local tram and headed into town,
In search of small adventures ... something special to be found.
I wavered off the beaten path and saw a market there,
With objects hanging from some tents suspended in the air;
I browsed among the items searching for something unique,
And suddenly I saw a little shop across the street.
From windows, dark and clouded, came a glow of light within,
That beckoned me a closer look ... I hesitated then ...
A little sign hung by a frame in entrance to the store,
It said "No Skeptics Welcome Here; Leave Doubts Outside The Door".
I placed my hand upon the knob and gave a little turn,
Moved forward through the creaking door where candles glowed and burned;
I heard the soft metallic clang as bells behind me chimed,
And turned to see the outside world fade quickly from my mind.
My eyes adjusted to the light, I turned and glanced around,
Saw feathers, charms and artifacts hung from the ceiling down;
I made my way through beads and rope, brushed past the cobwebs there,
And came upon a long, tall counter ... silence filled the air.
An eerie haze hung in the room, I focused then my sights,
To shelves that lined the wall behind the counter, glowing bright;
I squinted at the many jars that filled the wooden boards,
Each had a label beckoning my eyes to look toward.
I read with fascination at the words that they entailed,
Each one purported to encase intangibles for sale;
Everything from self esteem, to confidence and pride,
All had labels stating that these traits were held inside.
I read of fortitude and strength, respect and kindness too,
Independence and self-worth, all just to name a few;
Love and beauty, fame and fortune, staring back at me,
Happiness in bottled jars, to set a spirit free.
And as I read the endless list of qualities for sale,
I weighed the heavy price that each was likely to entail;
Lost in thought, and wishing that I could believe my eyes,
I shrieked as someone touched my shoulder, turned to my surprise ...
I saw an aged, gentle man, no more than 4 foot 4,
His tiny frame held tattered cloth that draped him to the floor;
He smiled a knowing, ancient smile ... and called me by my name,
And spoke in such a whispered voice ... I could not look away.
"I'm honored you have entered here, to browse upon my wares."
"Though see deep in the heart of you, some skepticism dear."
His fragile arm reached over, and he put his hand in mine,
He led me back behind the counter ... I could not decline.
"I've been expecting you, my child. Do not have doubt or fear."
"All items are attainable, to those who enter here."
"You've come to me in troubled times ... I am your destiny."
"An open mind is all I ask, to set your spirit free."
I gazed upon this gentle man, and felt a teardrop fall,
"How much can I afford?" I sighed, "I haven't much at all"
He smiled a tender, knowing smile, as wisdom filled his eyes,
"My dear, there is no price attached, they're free to all inside."
"We're born with all these qualities ... potential I should say,"
"Though trials and life experience ... lose some along the way."
"The price is in the losing, and the cost to you is great,"
"So now's the time to look within, and gather up your faith."
He reached behind the counter and picked up a mirror then,
He held it there in front of me, so I could gaze within;
"Look past your troubled eyes," he said, "Your heart is beautiful."
"You have the strength, the self-esteem ... just look into your soul."
"Be happy in yourself ... allow your qualities to shine,
"Be true to who you are within, and open up your mind."
"We each are different, and unique, that's how it has to be,"
"And when you see the good in you, that's what the world will see."
I clutched the mirror, pondered all, gained back my wounded soul,
And felt the strength renew my faith, past jars upon the wall;
And as I placed the mirror back beneath the counter there,
I realized I was alone ... but now I was prepared.
I made my way back to the door, equipped with all I'd need,
To face the waiting world head-on ... and that was simply "me".