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Feb 2018
I should have smiled
when I entered,
dusted like a corner table
with flakes of Maine ash:
grandiose visions of what
I sought to be.
Passing long marble rows;
walking briskly to comfort;
ushered in by the chill.
Neighbors might see me,
but I am cold,
so I do not smile.

In the longhouse,
they celebrate man's
dominion over time.
They pluck paper crafts
by their roots,
and fashion a little gift for me.
Oh, I am merry inside,
singing of renewal,
but I'm tired,
so I do not smile.

In open theater,
upon the carbonite stage,
I find myself
balancing on a tightrope,
while the audience roars and jeers.
I could play their games,
and surely they'd accommodate,
but I am bare,
so I do not smile.

Then, I'm out in the quarry,
cutting stone into thirds;
sweating from the hot sun.
A family sits across the way --
see how they laugh with one another!
If I were born
under a different sign,
I might join them;
but as this is my duty,
I do not smile.

No, I'll walk in circles
like the rest.
I'll make certain
the boilers are filled,
without time
for green-speckled wishes,
or chatting with friends,
old and new:
It's up and down
the stairs with you!
...To see that crescent
creeping through
the winter sky
would do my heart well....
There it is,
alight on the trail!
Yet still I do not smile.

On the road to destiny,
stuck behind two sisters on horseback....
If I were free,
I would slow
to hear their pleasant conversation,
but as I'm in a hurry,
I spur my horse onward,
my eyes set straight ahead;
my cloak whips as I pass,
and I do not smile.

At the great meeting of chieftains,
we are all
seated in the hall.
I feel the weight
of approaching weeks,
and the cold desert river
that awaits.
My face rises and falls
like the tide on the Aral Sea.
In soft surprise,
I feel a presence behind me.
Surrounded by circling vultures....
No wonder I hesitate
to expose my flesh.
Sands penetrate my eyelids.
I take a quick glimpse,
but I am watched,
so I do not smile.

Soon, I come upon an oasis.
The water soothes
my parched throat,
and I,
a forager,
dismount.
A hunting party makes camp
on the opposite bank.
I peer out through the shrubs....
Only a simple request
would rescue me,
but I am principled,
so I do not smile.

Watching fish jump by the water,
I long for that fading mornglow,
in tattered pots
and cairns,
by shuttered blinds,
where my emotions were kept.
All my love
is cradled in the shade.
Time moves on with haste,
and I do not smile.

At day's end,
I gather my belongings.
I rush to climb the peaks,
that I might meet her on the path.
Again, my heart lifts!
Her face appears in the distance.
With joy, I walk close to her.
I smile a little,
but does she notice?
How can one day's expression
erase those months of melancholy?
Now, my whole body forces a sigh;
I listen quietly to Otemoyan,
and I do not smile.
Written January 19, 2018.
Edited February 21, 2018.
Dawnstar
Written by
Dawnstar  out of the blue
(out of the blue)   
2.3k
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