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Smiling

Seeing a forced smile is the strangest thing
so agrees the dog who feels threatened when his owner shows his teeth . . .
and the praying mantis after love making
and the dirty mirror, left uncleaned
and the clown whose makeup melted in the rain
and the crying baby entering this world
and the auctioned bride who met her husband
and the scarecrow abandoned in a cornfield
and the cheerless present photograph

To see a forced smile is the strangest thing
so agrees the skull beneath our skin
the skull that’s always smiling

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