Her Smile For Tomorrow

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Love, loss, and hope. A short story blended with a poetic approach.

Submitted: January 13, 2012

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Submitted: January 13, 2012



She stands in the doorway and smiles in the mirror.

She says, “How do you do?” and curtsies to herself.

She’s only ten years old.

She loves the Lord, she loves her Mama.

Her eyes are blue; her eyes shine bright on cloudy days.

She skips down the stairs, one pretty summer morning,

“You look so beautiful, Mama. How do you do?”

Mama smiles and exclaims,

“How is my lovely girl?” “Great,” she says,

“I’m going to pick you a flower, the prettiest I can find.”

“Wonderful, darling,” Mama kisses her on the cheek

Mama’s washing dishes when she comes in the door,

“I brought you a flower!”

And she holds up a dandelion.

Mama laughs and hugs her daughter, and puts it in a glass.

She jumps up, down, all around, singing songs from church.

Mama claps, laughs, and loves, until she has to sit.

Mama keeps her head down,

Sweating and breathing hard. All the while,

She bends down, looks at her mother, “Mama, are you ok?”

Summer nights get cooler, the dandelion wilts.

She does not skip, she does not curtsy.

She does not “how do you do?”

She holds a dead dandelion on a cold fall day.

“God, why did you take my Mama away?”

She wears black, stepping on brown leaves.

But she looks up, trusts the Lord,

And nothing

Could take

Her smile away.

Ten years later,

She stands in his doorway and looks into his eyes.

She says, “How do you do?” and curtsies as he smiles.

His face is kind; his hands

Are strong; he has never known love, but

She kisses him, takes his hand; she says, “Let’s find out together.”

He clasps her fingers, walking down the neighborhood.

They walk, talk, and skip in the grass. He holds her close,

Softly saying, “I love you.”

“I love you.” She lays her head on him.

She sings him a happy song to sing for when days go wrong.

They run in bare feet and laugh by summer moonlight.

They walk by an owl and dip their feet in a lake.

The moon lights the water.

“Will it always be like this?” she asks.

“It will always be like this.” They make love on the ground.

Time passes, a baby arrives. Baby has strong hands

For showing love, and bright blue eyes for cloudy days.

They hold him with great love.

And they were happy, but not all was right

The doctor took them aside, “Your child will not live through the year.”

The fall had been cold, but the winter had gotten even colder.

She does not laugh, she does not love.

The hospital staff, they can not keep her away.

Everyday is frozen, harder than the last.

She stands outside in the snow, one cold winter day.

“God, how could you take my baby away?”

She wears black, stepping on hard packed snow.


Had taken

Her smile away.

Four months later,

She never ever leaves bed, crying all day long.

He cries sometimes, too, but he tries hard to stay strong,

He prays for better days.

He prays, hoping for her happiness.

If he could he would get her the world to make her smile.

So he stands in the doorway, smiling at her.

He says, “How do you do?” and curtsies as she stares.

She wipes her tears and laughs, as he does another curtsy.

He dances and sings a happy song for when days go wrong.

She laughs out loud and he takes her by the hand.

He kisses her on the head, and they run outside in bare feet.

They skip in the tall grass and breathe in the spring air.

He picks her a blue flower – it blooms bright on cloudy days.

And nothing

Could take

Their smiles away.

© Copyright 2018 Daniel Ryan. All rights reserved.

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