A Century Of Smiles: a poem

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A Century Of Smiles: a poem
(Los Angeles Times/MCT 2010)

Staff Writer

In my long life of almost a century,

I have been through just about everything.

Sometimes, alone in my warm chair by the glowing fireplace,

Comfortable and snuggly, I close my eyes and I remember.

I remember the green grassy plains of my childhood.

Frolicking around with the grasshoppers, feeling the breeze

With only the innocent thoughts of childhood in my mind.

Giggling, chasing after butterflies, running inside for dinner

I remember seeing the big city for the first time,

The energetic roar of the cars, the busy bustling of city dwellers.

Walking nervously into my class, carrying only my red backpack

And taking a deep, calming breath, I look up into the eyes of a smiling boy.

I remember falling in love, suddenly and unknowingly,

Long, easy strolls through the busy streets of New York,

And the whole world stopping for a few moments,

While we walked, hand in hand, laughing and sighing contentedly.

I remember my wedding, a wonderful white wonderland of fantasies,

The three happy children that soon followed,

Guiding them through their lives, seeing myself in them,

Holding their hands as they slowly grew into young adults.

I remember the relaxing, easy years that followed.

Traveling to different countries and continents,

Feeling the sea spray in the warm sandy beaches of Hawaii,

And the dazzling bright lights of Paris and London.

I remember slowly becoming weaker and smaller,

Trips to the doctor becoming gradually more and more frequent,

Enduring worried glances from all of my loved ones,

Followed by assuring smiles of love and hope.

Looking back through the past century, I feel exhausted.

I lean back in my warm chair, I relax, and I sigh.

I look into my face in the mirror, shaped by time and age,

And I trace the lines of a century’s worth of smiles and laughter around my eyes.

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