SAD SMILES

Eight-year old Balazy gets his own back on the photographer by taking her picture himself.
Eight-year old Balazy gets his own back on the photographer by taking her picture himself.

(A young Nigerian boy mimicking his photographer)
Betty Press – Panos pictures
*****************************

The smile of the weary labourer
Whose toil is not feeding him
The smile of the white-collared worker
Whose pay does not take him home
The smile of the limping old soldier
Battle wearied his body writhes in hunger

The smiles of the child-beggar
Nurtured by neither father nor mother
The smiles etched to tired faces
Those of the homeless and wanderer
The smiles of the forgotten races
Cut off from civilization and its grandeur
The smiles of the stricken populace
Ailing from her very own leaders

The smile of the schooled job-hunting man
Standing with shivers in the rain
Zoom zoom goes the pot-bellied politician
Exotic fleet following in his train
Splash splash the squalid taint lashes on
Through the glass he sees them grin
His smiles all soggy and his gaze forlorn
He wonders when the sun will shine on him

Smiles mangled by many cheerless tears
Smiles battered by several spasmodic throes
The fruit of man’s unkindness to man
Smiles that plaster our shredded doleful yarn
Smiles that veneer my people’s reality
Smiles from hearts where joy is rarity
Smiles yes smiles but pain there lies
My people smile sad smiles

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3 thoughts on “SAD SMILES

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