Widow's Mites
Cristine A. Gruber

February 2, 2015

She was standing outside Del Taco,
asking for money, assuming I had
plenty, one look at my car producing
the understandable assumption that
I might have resources to share. 

I glanced sideways at my purse,
flung across the passenger’s seat.
She was close enough to see the look,
and thus started thanking me before
I’d even said a single word in response. 

I wanted to help, but had nothing substantial
to give, recently unemployed, bills piling up.
I smiled and told her I’d fallen on hard times too,
then opened my change purse and dumped
all the coins I had into her outstretched hand. 

She smiled a near-toothless grin
and called me honey, before thanking
me repeatedly for the handful of change
that amounted to no more than a mere
two dollars and seventeen cents. 

We finished the conversation
with a round of God bless you,
before she departed with her grocery cart
and I drove on home, no longer needing to pull into
the drive-thru, having adequately given her all that I had. 

Cristine A. Gruber, a Southern California native, is a registered caregiver and a full-time author/poet. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines, including: North American Review, Writer’s Digest, Foliate Oak, Full of Crow, Leaves of Ink, The Old Red Kimono, The Penwood Review, Poetry Now, The Poet’s Haven, and The Tule Review. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Lifeline, was released by Infinity Publishing and is available from Amazon.com.


What motivates her to create:
“I write from a place of holistic wellbeing. That’s not to say I don’t touch upon difficult topics; I do. But I create from a place of peace, a wellspring of joy that continually overflows with feelings of universal connectedness and spiritual affinity. Poetry is in everything and everyone, in every moment of every day. I can write a poem about an apple as easily as I can write an ode about the homeless folks I chat with on a regular basis. The words are already there, imbedded in the moment, whatever the moment might happen to be. All I do is bring the words to light, let them come out and play for a while.
“If I’m exceedingly lucky, I may have another thirty or forty years to enjoy life on this planet. But that which I’ve created through my poetry can potentially live on forever through those whom I’ve touched with my words. The art of creation connects us all.”