But Poets Do Not Smile

He kept a journal with him,

to record every event he could drive inspiration from,

be it the falling of a soothingly red maple leaf

or a child sobbing in the balcony.

He constructed a parallel world in his diary

while sitting on the bench at the end of a narrow street.

The only thing which attracted me

was the shade of his hair in the golden hour;

it reflected a walnut brown tint.

Under the apricot sky, it was a flowering Cercis and him,

the yellow wall at his back turned him into a piece of art.

The only attribute which made me believe he was a poet

was the way his eyes turned around and looked out for something rare.

I strolled through the narrow pathway, found a bench, and sat right in front of him.

My interest was spiked first by his hair, then by his eyes;

Coordinating with the walnut shade,

his eyes made me think of cocoa-rich chocolate.

In an attempt to not disrupt his thoughts,

I took out a bundle of poems by John Locke.

With three fourth of my mind thinking about him,

I looked up at his face.

Well, I was determined to not stare as dumb

but his aura had already left me numb.

Fine lines ran across his forehead,

perhaps the heat turned his cheeks slightly red,

smitten by his dedication to write

I wondered if he scribbled poetry.

Maybe he was writing about the people roaming aimlessly on the street

or was he looking at things which I could not see?

Whatever it was, but he looked to be in his early twenties.

After an hour, he closed his journal, took a deep breath, 

looked up and caught me staring at him.

After a few seconds of eye-locking,

I thought he'd give a little smile,

but to my surprise, he was dismayed.

I had surely interfered his thoughts

now maybe he'd think of me all night long!

I greeted his frown with a wide smile

then immediately saw him walk away through the narrow street.

My eyes followed his trail until he would take a turn

and astonishingly, he looked back and smiled in return. 

[But poets do not smile]

~ Disha Dahia

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