365 Poems/65 Smiling With Your Eyes

Smiling with your eyes

The paper in the bin uncurls.

It sounds like ice quietly breaking.

I notice little things now that you are here.


I like having you with me in the morning,

your spine, eyelids, lashes, teeth,

fingers, mouth, mumbled first words.


We put too much pressure

on ourselves, always thinking

we’ll slide back to square one,

and lie to our friends that

we’re doing better


I learnt today that a smile

is more than the lips.

It’s mouth, teeth and cheeks.

If there are no wrinkles or creases

around the eyes, then the smile

has come from nowhere.


You put hot milk and sugar on my Shreddies,

so I can keep up my momentum when,

later, I am absolutely alone,

and my thinking tries to detach itself

again from my inner compass.

When you smile, your eyes are

not empty windows, they are self-revealing,

they are honest, they are occupied.