The Rebuke

Sarajevo, hurricanes, the Simpson case....

I switch my car radio off. I pray.

Red light. Pedestrians cross, hunched

against the rain. Now without warning

a woman's face presses against my window.

Her eyes are wells of caring as she shouts,

''Cheer up! You should be smiling - SMILING!''

Then she is gone before the light turns green.

The rain stops at last. The thunder leaves

its white wound trembling on the air.

I drive to a field, park the car, and run

into the sudden sun. Recalling the woman,

I pledge aloud never to lose my cheer.

Truly alone, I learn to smile again.

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