Free Hope Shop #20

Just around the corner near the yellow lamppost
There’s a red brick house with a sign on the top
“Welcome”, it says, “to The Free Hope Shop”

I’ve been there often when I couldn’t fall asleep
There’s an old lady behind the counter
Reading a book, offering muffins and tea

She smiles at you and pats you on the head
Gives a blanket, a book and a flower
“Treat yourself to the tea, my friend”

The couches are comfortable, the cat is noisy
But there’s always something different
Sometimes the lights, sometimes the posies

A corner is for those who want to be left alone
The jukebox for ones who needs a friend
Spaces to heal and time to mend

You can stay for as long as you like
Cry or sing to the strangers around
Share a story, watch quietly peace settles down

I don’t know how the shop is maintained
Everything there is free, nothing is for sale
“Don’t you worry about it dear”, she says

When you leave she stops you at the door
Hands you a handwritten thank you note
Whispers, “Hope you’re okay, you don’t’ have to ache alone”.

As you leave, there’s one thing you should do
Wave and smile, take the note with you
Offer it to someone down the road and say thank you.

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