Saturday, July 09, 2011


what has happened
I was wondering
to the pretty, pleasant girls
at the cash register

who know just how
to treat a customer

this one, too young
where did she come from
with manners
as rough as the grave-
as tough as nails

how aggressive
how insensitive
I thought she was

impolite and never smiling

I turned away and turned back
it was as if a season
in an instant, changed

contrast so stunning
I could hardly believe
it was the same girl

terrible look upon her face
in an instant was someone
terribly beautiful

that deserved recording
by no less a camera
no less a cinematographer
than Sven Vilhem Nykvist

in color though
rather than in black and white
the difference between
day and night

and what sparked it
I wasn't sure

I asked, she told me
it was nothing

something she
and the boy packing shared

she cashing
and bagging
what she sold as well

insisting that the tip
was hers not his

what a mask she wears

Afghan girl,
Sharbat Gula's face
not more frightening
than her face is usually

like something wild
about to spring
which just might spring
and you had better beware

that other mask
underneath it though
her laughing face

ecstatic about life
about being alive

happy and I was unaware
thought she was made of nails
throughout and all through

only to find her
full of petals also
underneath facade
as soft as could be
as pretty as could be

© Obediah Michael Smith, 2011
2:07 p.m. 22.06.11


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