By Shelly Reuben
Ode to Re-Gifting
I have this pair of mittens

(Well, in actual fact, it’s four)

That I’ve received as gifts so far

And soon, I’ll get four more.


Each pair is really lovely.

Three are red and one is blue.

And all still have their store tags on.

May I give one to you? 


Then there’s this little problem

Of my living room décor.

It’s orange and red and yellow from

My ceiling to my floor. 


But I received this pillow

With a velvet applique

Of pink and purple violets in

A delicate bouquet. 


And truly, it looks awful

(I am sure you’d think that, too)

It clashes with the yellow, so…

May I give it to you? 


Then there’s a pair of earrings…

Lovely drops shaped like a pear.

The stones are glistening emerald green

That fill me with despair. 


Because my skin’s so pallid

Shades of green give it a hue

That make me look half-dead, and so

May I give them to you? 


I’ve got a brand new toaster

But I really don’t like toast.

And someone gifted me a pan

In which to roast a roast. 


I got some snuggly slippers

That I like, but they don’t fit.

And also (I do not do crafts)

A needle pointing kit. 


All of these gifts were given

With such generous intent.

That I feel very guilty over

Time and money spent. 


Yet, I have a solution

And it's sort of a “re-do.”

If what I have would make you glad

I’ll give that gift to you! 


My friend (her name is Sally)

Lost her mittens in the rain.

And Ann who hurt her back would like

A pillow for the pain. 


A neighbor needs a toaster

And my brother loves to host

A grandiose dinner party

Where he’d get to roast a roast. 


I even have a friend

Who needs a needle pointing kit.

And one who has the right sized feet

On which those slippers fit. 


I’d love to keep my earrings,

(Though the color’s wrong for me)

But they would look much better on

My green-eyed friend, Marie. 


And so, I’ve solved my problem

(Truly…you could do this, too).

Give me the gifts that you don’t want,

And I’ll give mine to you!


Copyright © January, 2017, Shelly Reuben - Originally published in The Evening Sun, Norwich, NY - evesun.com Shelly Reuben’s books have been nominated for Edgar, Prometheus, and Falcon awards.  For more about her books, visit www.shellyreuben.com.