The Garden Statue

The garden statue catches his eye.
It is ordinary - gray plaster, two feet tall,
but it is something he feels compelled to buy;
although for doing so, he has no explanation at all.

The statue is an angel, standing, head lowered,
a solemn look upon her face, cradling some object
lovingly to her chest. At first he puts her with stored
items, but later displays her in the yard - the subject

of complaint from his wife. “Sitting at the kitchen table,
that thing will be prominently in view. I don’t like it much.”
“It seems to belong there. I don’t know if I will ever be able
to explain. It intrigues me. The angel herself is cast with such

exquisite details - the feathers in her wings, the curls of hair,
her facial features, the flow of her garment -- all these are so
sharply defined. Yet the object she clutches is not. There
is no way to tell what it is…but I sense that I should know.”

The statue stands for weeks out in the December cold.
He studies her daily as he drinks his morning coffee.
It seems to speak to him, but the message remains untold.
There is something there…what he simply cannot see.

The house is filled with family staying for the holiday.
On Christmas morning, he gets out of bed at 6 a.m.
Enjoying his coffee, the first rays of dawn in a strange way
illuminate the garden statue. That is when he sees them.

The angel has her head held high, with a smile beaming.
She holds in outstretched arms a boy child plain to see.
Coffee spilling, he runs to the window, and stands looking
with wonder when he hears the others clamoring for it to be

time to see what Santa brought and to open presents for all.
He calls, but no one is interested. He goes to tell them
of the statue. Presents, presents, lavish ones, large and small,
consume their interest. Chances of interesting them are slim.

He returns to the kitchen to gaze upon the statue once more.
The angel stands head bowed, sad, appearing now as before.

Harry Edward Gilleland      12.19.02