Why would you smile at a stranger at the store?
This morning the cat wrecked her pristine couch and
Gouged with lion claws the eyes of her nascent smiles.
Her son got the cue and stood in the path of a passing flu
That knocked him out of his bed onto a sick one
Where temperatures rose and fell to the sound of
The neighbour complaining about the ball that wrecked a
Window. Yesterday, her boys launched a satellite
Off course that took the pieces of glass to the trash.
Why would you smile at the stranger at the store?
That all she's got,
It's all she's got.
You don’t know when it starts nor ends
But you must live it in twists and bends.
No manual robotises your daily experience
And no theory can predict weakness or resilience.
The people you meet cannot immediately tell whence
Your smiles or tears come, nor can you theirs.
It’s just life,complex yet simple, loving yet painful,
Misunderstood yet so simple, from dirt to dining tables
And you must live it, good or bad, fun or scare,
And smile all the way, catching the wind in your hair.
Can you describe a baby’s smile? Let me try:
A breath of fresh air while the sewage tanks are drained;
That momentary silence when gunshots fill the air;
Cool palm oil on your tongue after your first crab curry;
when you shut your eyes to stop incoming traffic glare;
when a persistent cramp finally disappears;
Taking off your blistering work shoes when the day is done.
The pureness of the lines, and the innocence written in an infant’s smile cast all my stress away.
Unrestrained, untainted. The pure expression of appreciation that says: “Yes, you count”, “Thank you!”, “I love you” without uttering a word.
Those 5 seconds where everything means so much more, where nothing else matters than how happy this human being is of the mutual expression of love, as you smile back.
In the comments, tell us what your baby’s smile is like to you….