I am a smiler. I smile big and broad.
I’ve had people stop me on the street to say
“Nice smile.” But I’ve also had people complain.
I recall walking down my high school hallway
Being told to “stop that smiling” when I hadn’t even
Been aware of smiling in the first place.
I will default to smile quick as a wink or at least
I did. I’m not sure anymore.
Then, in some cases, I was just happy. And smiling slipped out and sometimes
Other people’s happiness is an irritant to passersby and must be halted.
In others, I confess, I was smiling as a mask,
As a defense. A smile can hide any number of more complex and less
Socially acceptable emotions.
I could smile over grief, (smooth over – slick cover) over annoyance,
Over anger (even before I knew I had it.)
There wasn’t much I couldn’t hide with a really bright cheerful smile.
Full wattage. Broadcasting smile. It could be a good misdirect
Like a magician who makes a joke to draw your attention away from his left hand
As he secrets the coin it.