Redheaded Girl

Posted: August 22, 2013 in Poetry by Just Jewel
Tags: , ,

Earlier this week I had an experience that touched me. I went to the beauty supply store to grab a couple of things. As I browsed around I could hear the cashier (who was working alone) helping other customers. She sounded extra chipper. Her voice would go up a note per word in each sentence, and every sentence ended with a question mark lol. I, myself, was in a not-so-great mood. I found her voice annoying and I thought in my head, “what the hell is she so happy about?” I got in line and all the customers before me cleared out one by one until it was just the two of us in the store. It seemed so strange to me that she kept saying “thank you” to every single little thing but I appreciated the pleasant customer service. As she rung me up I asked her how she was. She replied “good, thanks for asking.” The next thing I knew she broke out in tears and asked me if I had any advice for a breakup. I was caught off guard and I didn’t quite know what to say. I was dealing with my own issues and my mind was totally somewhere else. Those who are close to me know when people cry it makes me uncomfortable, so I was really at a loss for words. I did stick around a few minutes and tried to say the most comforting things that came to mind but I left the store feeling like there was more I could’ve and/or should’ve said. I left feeling really sorry for her and bad that I wasn’t more help and it inspired me to write the below poem. But before I get to that, there’s a few things I was reminded that I want to share:

  1. Don’t be so self-centered and wrapped up in your own woes that you forget to aid those around you in need.
  2. Don’t pre-judge anyone. You don’t know what kind of pain a person is hiding behind their smile.
  3. When you don’t know the right advice to give, a listening ear is always a good replacement.

So, to the young, redheaded girl working at Empire Beauty, I dedicate this to you.

Redheaded Girl

To the redheaded girl

This one I write for you

There’s no roadmap to life

Only destinies determined, awaiting in our queue


I entered your store with purpose

Miniscule things like nail polish and bobby pins

Your voice ringing thru the aisles

so cheerful, so perky

Forgive me for I knew not of the pain you held within

Masked by a smile and repetitions of “thank you”

Offering up courtesies, information, services

My goal set at get in get out

Your pleas for help thru cracks in your tone went unnoticed

so sorry I never heard of them

You see my mind and attention elsewhere

I was so wrapped up in my own enchilada,

peppered with dashes of my own selfish bullshit and drama

My recent visit from karma had me whiplashed and backslapped

My head buried in the sand, hiding in a deep dark hole within

I dared not peek out for you or anyone else

So you see, I didn’t see your tear-stained face or watery eyes

If I had, my “how are you?” would’ve been more sincere

And your sudden breakdown would’ve been clear

Perhaps I could’ve given you better advice that you so openly sought,

instead of empty wishes served and plattered on recycled dishes,

lent to me by others’ thoughts

Generic remedies like: “Things will get better” or “Maybe you’ll get back together”

“You’re so young. Someone else will come along”

But I couldn’t because I don’t know those things to be true

Store bought expressions to make you feel better

Fact is, none of that shit helps get you thru

Or I could’ve said: “tough titty, that’s the breaks,”

“sometimes life hands you shit, not lemons”

“you have to play the hand you are dealt”

But my ability to relate wouldn’t let me be so cold

I’m not so good at thinking on my feet

So I served you poppycock and left you there to feast


To the redheaded girl

This one I write for you

Your time of need outran my speed

Sorry I couldn’t come thru


Redheaded girl,

Truth is you are young, barely a cub

You are in a moment that is hard to see beyond

Your world hasn’t ended, though it may feel that way

You may not laugh but some day you will look back on this,

and no longer feel the same

Your wounds will heal and be replaced by new ones,

and they will heal also

The days to come will eventually get easier

You will cry some more but crying is good

Emotions remind us that we are human

Go out, enjoy life, and do other things that make you happy

Why be around someone who is the cause of your tears anyway?

Redheaded girl,

I don’t know much about you except:

You are beautiful

You are pleasant

You are great at your job

Those are three things you have to offer the world in a way that only you can,

and I’m sure the list gets longer

It may sound crass but something you should know,

Men will always be there

Some may come and some may go

Remember the good experiences and let go of the bad

Their only purpose is to provide you with life lessons

Gaining all the wisdom some may never have


To the redheaded girl

This one I write for you

Just as sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West,

Blue skies to stormy clouds will bid adieu

– Just Jewel

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