The little concrete building
with bars over the only windows,
the ones at the front
looking out over the busy road
at all the customers they had hoped to draw in.
There are signs in the windows,
advertising the cigarettes that they planned to have on the shelves.
The neon light hangs slightly off-center,
never having been plugged in at all.
It is for some drink or another
that never graced the shelves,
only that unlit sign stands testament to what
was supposed to have been.
Everything was ready and appearances were good,
on the outside.
Only the inside of this little store
was never stocked.
No one ever entered its doors, seeking
spirits or sustenance.
No one stood behind the counter,
doing the job she was hired for.
No one pulled his truck up to the front door
and unloaded cases of Coca-Cola
or Ritz Crackers.
Or Moon Pies.
No substance there at all.
Sometimes we are like that little cement brick building.
The structure is there, everything’s ready,
as far as the outward appearances go.
we forget to get our insides ready.
Our soul is empty and not at all prepared for what we want to appear
What we’ve said we can do,
we haven’t always prepared our hearts
or minds for.
I drive by the little store and think
about what a shame it is that they didn’t stock the shelves
and then put up the signs inviting people inside.