Elegy for a Smile (Day 3, 2017)

For day 3 of National Poetry Writing Month, the prompt was for us to write an elegy.

Elegy for a Smile

Even now, I can see her smile
if I think hard enough
(which isn’t hard at all)–
olive-skin dimples
framed by thick brown hair,
eyes the green of early spring,
never failing to catch a glint of light.

That smile made her gorgeous,
the sort of beauty 
you don’t see on magazine covers
or television shows
because it can’t be understood 
until it’s aimed 
squarely at you,
in response to your Joke
or kind gesture
or whispered I love you.

Even she didn’t get it,
could not replicate in the mirror
what came naturally
during conversation,
and so she saw only
what others saw through,
her least favorite features,
and decided that no one–
not even me–
could honestly claim
she was pretty.

In my innocence,
I believed I could 
force her
to see herself as I did,
through repetition and 
only I could heal her, 
could replace self-doubt with 
that she needed me
to rescue her from herself.

The harder I tried
to make her smile,
the less she actually did,
until neither of us 
remembered why the other
was beautiful,
only that we were supposed to 
say it 
like we meant it.


About semiblind

Bringing you stark existentialism since 1981.
This entry was posted in best-laid plans, NaPoWriMo, people, poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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