silent night (two)

i was supposed to close at eleven
but i didn’t. i was late for some reason.

i was cleaning as
a blue-bug-eyed
gentleman entered my
store smiling.

his smile was unusual
for customers at that
of night.

he possessed confidence
as he passed
the clear-door refrigerator
alcohol-filled aisle.

he found satisfaction
in the furthest section
reading the missing persons
on the back of the milk cartons.

he continued to smile so
we talked for a while.
no wallet. just a ten
in his pocket.

then, i opened my big mouth.
muhammad, forgive me.
i spilled the beans about
my dear friend, Rajeev.

as he left with the discounted
candy cane 3-pack, egg nog and milk,
i quickly phoned my friend
giving him a cordial alert.

Rajeev never picked up.
i prayed to Allah. i hope he’d be
alright from this intruder,
this jesus-disciple trawler.

i took my name tag off
and chuckled to myself.
i was wearing Anil’s tag. i said,
“silly Haidar.” in a soft voice.

the clock passed twelve. my
cleaning was done. but my
friend was undone. Rajeev
called. and could barely speak.

he said he witnessed something
he’s never ever seen.
he told me some man
had walked in. and talked to him.

i was frightened inside
until i heard what he
told me and i couldn’t help
but to smile.

a first. in so many years.
he laughed. and smiled in my ear.
2007’s christmas eve.
a night. he couldn’t believe.

i was a bit confused. but i kind of knew
Rajeev had a newfound glory coming through.
i packed up and left feeling good
with this new christmas attitude.

he doesn’t know this
but i was also inspired.
so i left 3 tens and 4 fives
under the man’s windshield