She was an 8 year old, looking stern,
And of course, much older.
She was visiting my great granddaughter and
I was taking pictures of them urging fun poses, but
This little girl looked so serious on every shot
Taken with my instant camera.
When I said ‘Cheese! ‘ there was no effort by her to smile
Although my little Miss was having a grand time smiling
On inquiry, her little friend said she never smiled,
Because it simply was not fun.
I assured her it truly could be a fun thing to do and
Said, a smile could light up a room, if she gave it a chance.
The look she gave me was sad and I knew she
Thought I was being foolish but did finally allow me to
Tease her as I let each choose and wear some of my
Fancy hats, feather boas, old jewelry and allowed the girls to pose
Like models on a runway.
I made silly faces to make the girls laugh and promised to take really great photographs if
They would both give me their best smiles.
Finally, she was convinced and there it was, a big smile!
I snapped the picture and the girls could barely wait for it to be developed.
It was ready and our little friend was startled by her reflection when she looked at the picture, and said excitedly, ‘That doesn’t look like me, I have never smiled on a picture before! ‘
She was pleased and surprised all in one breath,
By a smile, ‘the beauty within’, a God given treasure she did not
Realize she owned…someone had stolen this joy
From her years ago I am sure.
Child of ebony hue, discovering at age 8 she is
Beautiful and it really is fun to smile.
She was ready now to take on the world,
The secret was in that smile, I knew she would pass
On through her life’s journey.
She smiled and laughed the rest of that afternoon with us.
Dorothy Alves Holmes
A Poet Who Loves To Sing