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The smile

Poem by Lee West 2009

The Smile a poem by Lee West
The smile

I leisurely strolled in a park one day, And watched the children all at play, Saw an old man walking his dog, And two lovers kissing on a log, And as I strolled through this park, I could hear the song of a distant lark, I heard the wind sighing in the trees, And among the flowers buzzing bees.

I saw some Greek men playing a game, It looked like bowls, but not the same, Then a young lass in a wheelchair came by, Giving me a smile that made me sigh, I knew In that instant an Angel I'd seen, For she looked, so happy, joyous, serene, And her smile shone brighter than any gold, Yet she was only about twelve years old.

I watched as she went upon her way, For her smile had surely made my day, So I slowly followed in her wake, Watched as she headed for a little lake, It was down by the lake that she stopped, And little birds to her quickly hopped, I watched as she threw them bits of bread, Some birds were hovering near her head.

Then a few ducks swam across, For bread was tastier than their moss, I stood watching enthralled at this scene, A lovelier sight I could not have foreseen, Those little birds hopped upon her chair, At first just one and then soon a pair, While waddling ducks quacked at her feet. As she fed them bits of bread cut so neat.

Till at last her feeding was all done, And she turned towards the setting sun, Propelling her chair up that sloping track, I watched as she wended her way back, I quickly stepped from behind a bush, And made an offer to give her a push, Again she gave me that lovely smile, And her gaze seemed to linger for a while.

She just nodded to me her assent, So pushing her chair up the track we went, She suddenly asked, “Do you live round here”. “Why, yes”, I replied, “I live quite near”. She smiled again as she turned her head, And then, totally stunned me as she said, “Will you please feed my birds when I’m dead”. I just knew that my face was burning red.

I gazed at her questioning upturned face, Of guile I could not see a single trace, And her gentle smile touched my heart, She then said. “Soon this life I must depart, And sadly leave this world behind, But don't worry because 1 really don’t mind, People have been very kind to me, But soon now I’ll be gone and running free".

We reached the gates of this little park, No longer could I hear the singing lark, A big shiny white car was waiting there, To collect my bright young friend so fair, Her mother told me of the girl's sad plight, About the spreading cancer she had to fight, "Cancer caused by asbestos dust", she said, And added, "Soon her daughter would be dead".

Her Grandparents had met the same sad fate, Not knowing the danger until much too late, Yes, Asbestos dust from her Grandpa's clothes, Was going to take away their darling Rose, It was in her lungs and now in her bones, Another poor victim like countless unknowns, And this dying Angel waved to me as she left, Leaving me feeling sad, empty and bereft

I watched as that white car went on its way, Then I slowly returned to my home to pray. As often as I could I went to that park, To hear again the song of the lark, I was always looking for her and her smile, I would linger and wander for a while, But I never saw that sweet young lass again, For she died and at last she's free of pain.

So now each day I go to that little lake, With a bag of bread and some stale cake, Her little birds know that I'm their friend, And their feeding has not come to an end, Some of them are a little nervous and shy, But I know they'll come round bye and bye.

From Heaven an angel smiles down at me, An Angel who is as free as free can be, Who has no more pain no more grief, She has had her wish that's my belief, And to me no smile ever meant so much. I can almost feel its warm gentle touch. As she smiles her smile from up above, A smile I will always always treasure and love.

© Lee W. 2009

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