The Smudged Portrait

Serene, eternal smile

Tiny white teeth peeking through

A Band-Aid barely visible in the crook of her elbow

The only outward sign of her recent hospital stay

Ladybugs dance with hearts across her white pinafore


The hall light reveals the smudges on the glass that obscure her perfect little mouth.

Smudges from a mother’s kisses

It’s been 13 months today, since I last saw that smile.

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