Smiles

Not even polite, meaningless words.
On these bright, clear days
she’s outside.
Moving as if at a playground.
No wave, no “hi,”
certainly no “how are you.”
Only a forced, slight smile
when I wave and ask how she is.

Attention might be a game.
It might always be “I’m interested.”
But sometimes my grandfather comes to mind.
Sitting alone indoors with bad breath
and books about the apocalypse.
When after eight years I visited,
a bright smile,
eager to be delighted.

Maybe family are the friends you have
because few know how to be friends.

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