Someone cared enough to take my photograph
A momentary lapse in banal living
A microsecond when time held not only still
But enlisted a frozen smile over something long forgotten

Reasons for smiles become unimportant
Mere crumbs in the feasts of life
Smiles worn honest and real reveal not what the senses perceived
But the depth of which the heart is capable

Life becomes a tragedy of pain, anguish, and disappointments
Battering the inner self to the brink of submission
Yet, if the heart remains strong, courageous, valiant
The corners of you mouth curl northward, lifting said heart to manageable heights

Throughout the years, people steal smiles in merciless moments
Never using nor trading their ill-gotten goods
But tossing these signs of health and hope to the black dungeon of nothingness
Which leaves the victim powerless, hopeless, downtrodden

Nostalgia may deliver that picture
The one where your only care squirted up your gut, into your throat
Out into the world as laughter – and the moment the shutter fell
Upon your gleaming smile, the moment, the magic, granted a harmony with life.

Someone cared enough to take my photograph
Despite all which goes astray in life, despite all which damages us
So as to reveal a vibrancy, victorious in the smile’s very existence
Reminding me life and hope and love nurture laughter and smiles
Moments better to live in the real than rely on their reminders from the past.
The more I learn the less I know, yet this truth remains constant
The ability to smile and laugh exists as one of the greatest gifts a human possesses
And someone cared enough to take my photograph to remind me to smile and laugh in the now, to keep that picture alive…

Prompt writing can be a wonderful tool in a writer’s kit to own. I’ve honed my prompt writing over the years to the point that mere words or phrases elicit creative juices of which I cannot, nor wish I not, to control.

Today I watched an interview from the BBC back in the day where the interviewer was attempting to get Robin Williams to be serious. The interviewer actually achieved the near impossible task. Robin made a statement about a photograph and the fact that someone cared enough to take a picture of this person.

I’d been reminded by a FB post from a beautiful friend earlier in the day, of a Socratic quote which I’ve understood most of my life, that being, “The more I learn, the less I know.”

The photograph, the Socratic quote, and a simple smile prompted me most urgently to write a poem. When the muse insists, I do my best to oblige. What I learned from this poem is this:

Smiles are a truth of strength. If life beats you down so badly that you’ve lost the ability to smile an honest smile, the time has come for self inspection.

Smiling is becoming a vulnerable act these days. So much hate. So much loathing. So much fear-mongering. So much obligatory fear.

An honest smile is a healthy experience for your body, your mind, your heart, and your soul. Not a derisive smile. Not a smile at someone’s expense. A warm, honest smile from within which requires only that you allow yourself to feel the warmth of life. This is a truth for me.

Sharing that smile with others becomes not only your gift, but theirs as well. There are many who desire these smiles wiped not only from our faces, but more so from others’ eyes. Why? Because a smile is more contagious than any illness known to man.

Honest, loving smiles bring goodness into this world. As sick and dying as our precious Earth is at this moment, we need an epidemic of smiles to infect the world and set our feet onto better paths…