Posts Tagged ‘smile’


She doesn’t smile anymore,
but she will not discuss her pain,
although assaults are so traumatic,
she will wear the scars forever.
You can see her bruises, visible
without the colors of physical abuse.
I knew her when she smiled a lot.
Sometimes we’d laugh so hard
we cried, but now there is no mirth
behind her tears, and she wears
a wounded look.
Her attacker denies cruelty.
He is quick to tell everyone
that he loves her, yet
the torment continues,
smothering the spark in her soul.
She can tell you that.
She can tell you that battering
doesn’t always mean clenched fists.
She can tell you that a wrathful
tongue and disagreeable nature
leaves bruises and scars.
But she won’t.
She takes her pain in silence,
and wears the bruises inside,
yet, I am aware of her pain.

She doesn’t smile anymore.

8/28/93 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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(For my mother, Leah DeWitt)

I saw your portrait yesterday
The likeness, Mom, is true
But paint applied to canvas square
Can’t truly depict you

It doesn’t show the attributes
That I call Mom’s Bouquet
It doesn’t show the guidance
That shaped my life each day
It doesn’t show the things you taught
As mind and body grew
When you ingrained within my soul
The proper things to do
Nor show your smile when life seemed frowns
At least I see not how
Or the magic healing in your hands
When placed upon my brow

Brushes and paint cannot convey
The patience always shown
Nor selflessness indulged on all
For which you were well known

It doesn’t show the way you shared
My many joys and woes
Or how you taught me ways to cope
With life’s big highs and lows
It certainly doesn’t capture
The marvel that was you
For surface beauty’s all one sees
Since that’s what portraits do
So, though I hang your likeness, Mom
It’s just a piece of art
And the real you, described herein
Is etched upon my heart

It’s a portrait of perfection
I wish the world could see
Throughout the years, you’ve always been
Just what a Mom should be

9/26/90 Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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The Deepest Love


Mom soothed my brow

And taught me how

To smile again,

When I was ten.


She held me close,

(Love’s tender dose),

When I was ill.

I feel it still.


When my turn came,

I did the same —

She needed care,

And I was there.


It’s meant to be,


Love’s legacy.

Our destiny.


9/10/94         Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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A smile is your caress



No need of words have we, my dear,

A smile is your caress.

You give it freely when you’re near.

No need of words have we, my dear,

For our love’s nurtured year by year,

And I could never love you less.

No need of words have we, my dear,

A smile is your caress.


8/30/95      Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


2’nd … Indiana 1995

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A Smile for the day

              A SMILE


What happened to your lovely smile?

What makes you look so sad?

A smile can chase the blues away.

And make your heart feel glad.


And so it waits expectantly

To blossom forth today.

Such smiles as yours, that bring such joy,

Should not be tucked away.


Just bring it out and use it now,

So everyone can share,

As it cultivates contagion,

Causing smiles everywhere.


7/23/97             Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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To calm a child



Warm tears

course her cheek

as the child weeps,

melting Grandma’s heart.

With just one kiss

tears are dried.

Both smile.


9/7/92     Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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