A Kind Word and a Smile

I’ve dark feelings when winter clouds are grey and miserable over Swindon. Even the dog is laconic, still wants his walks, happy to jump in the stream but cringes when I unravel the hose. The garden paths are slippery, been on a list for weeks, but I’ve no energy to hose them while it’s raining. I could go on.

Then I enter a pub or shop or café and my mood is lifted by a lovely smile, such as the server in Lidl, Greenbridge, who smiled and said “follow me” when I couldn’t find batteries; the smiler in Phone Fixers who fixed my phone and wouldn’t charge me; the Brazilian barbers in Excellent Cut who like winter; the ushers in Empire Cinema who really, really want you to have a nice day.

But the best is Emilie and colleagues in Choppers (A338 just after Burbage). Great food, reasonable prices, big smiles. On a cold, wet morning, that’s the place to be for breakfast. Here are a few stanzas from “Your Smile” which I composed there:

The open and close of a café door,

the lift of your eyes, and the soft rush

to your smile like a great big magnet pulsing

heartbeats, my adolescent blush.


I wonder what magic exudes such warmth,

replicates your smile with another’s, does for

the inconsequent, as comfortable

as removing shoes by an open door.


I searched the Impressionists for such smiles

but found few, perhaps Mona Lisa’s form

blending the edge between colours in a soft

transitional smile, but nothing of your warmth.


This is how we see ourselves and each other

when we greet: Sunshine and open doors,

dashed embargoes, opening teasers,

all of these because of your smile, and more.

First published in Swindon Link

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