• Candy Store

    In a little candy store

    Not far from New York’s Bay,

    In a time before the present

    On a bright, crisp winter’s day.

    Stood a girl and stood a boy

    In white and blue and green and red,

    With a sack of silver coins

    And looks that clearly said:

    “Oh, which sweet should I choose,

    When they all appear so good?”

    And with a frown and with a sigh

    The pair straightened where they stood.

    Keeping eyes and noses pressed

    To the glass of the display,

    Taking in the sights and smells

    Of the candy where it lay.

    In those shiny tins and boxes,

    In the cans of paper gold,

    In the jars of crystal suckers,

    All just waiting to be sold.

    Purple, orange, white and pink,

    Chocolates brown and mints of green.

    Swirls of milk and caramel

    In a cotton candy dream.

    Both the girl and little boy

    Seemed astounded by the store,

    And they couldn’t quite decide

    Which treat they wanted more.

    Should he choose the licorice?

    Should she choose the colored dots?

    Should they lean towards something sour?

    Or perhaps towards something hot?

    There was a silence full of humming,

    Bitten mouths tugged in tight frowns.

    Then the candy man said something

    That flipped their musings upside-down.

    “Why don’t you choose a favorite,

    With a new or different twist?

    Instead of taking a new treat—

    Instead of such a risk—

    I find I like the tang of old

    When feeling stuck like this.”

    The girl and boy both considered

    Staring at the wise old man,

    Then the one with eyes of scarlet

    Gently brushed his best friend’s hand.

    With a start and with a smile,

    With a hand upon her hip,

    The young girl turned to face her partner—

    But was greeted with his lips.

    The action left her quite surprised—

    The sudden, shy embrace—

    But she soon began reacting,

    Pressing closer to his face.

    For a long and fleeting moment

    The whole world just disappeared,

    And there was no candy shop

    Nor a man there with a beard.

    Just a couple who was kissing

    Feeling neither shamed nor weird,

    As all worries of rejection fled

    And were no longer feared.

    Then with a silent sort of sigh—

    His heels re-touching the ground—

    The blushing boy grinned happily

    And slowly turned around.

    “I would rock candy, please,

    In cherry would be nice.

    I checked my sources and it seems

    That flavor’s just ‘bout right.

    “It’s sugary and tangy

    Like a candied summer night.

    It tingles like her laughter does

    And her yells from when we fight.”

    So with a chuckle and a beam

    The man secured a stick,

    Then gave it to the blushing boy

    As the girl made clear her pick:

    “I think I’ll take some strawberries—

    The ones with the chocolate cream.

    They’re sweet and soft and savory;

    They taste like springtime dreams.

    “And the colors tell a story—

    Like the ones he told to me—

    About a child in the darkness

    Who chose to be set free.”

    Then with their purchases all wrapped

    And payment on the stand,

    The pink-cheeked boy and flushing girl,

    Left smiling, hand in hand.