The Smile That Still Haunts Me

Can anyone count all the moments they’ve lost?
Can anyone carry that weight?
Can anyone tally the ultimate cost
or imagine the price that was paid?

But of all of the prizes I’ve passed in my time,
without stopping to challenge the test,
just one sweet smile still comes to my mind,
clearer than all of the rest.

It wasn’t her beauty, though beauty was hers,
it wasn’t her charm or her craft.
It wasn’t the promise of a body so pure,
it wasn’t the song in her laugh.

A tapestry of life in her eyes I could see,
no false note of artifice,
of joy and sorrow, of happiness and grief
of both strength and of tenderness.

I’ll never know now, if in taking a chance,
I would ever have been so blessed
but late to the challenge, late to the dance
her smile will haunt me till death.

 © 2021 Bernard Kelley

Can be sung to the tune of …