Smiles of Remembrance

You ran past me that morning with a smile on your face. Gentle and relaxed. You were serenity at its finest when jogging, your therapeutic hour, called its song of seduction. I wish I’d taken a plaster cast of that grin. Or at least a photo in passing.

A shrill phone call disturbed my thoughts. Bad timing. Ominous warning. My grocery list in progress.

Your number registered, but the caller wasn’t you. Chilled cider in a frosty tumbler dropped from my hands, dispersing like mudslides on my cheery pink carpet. My carpet is blemished still; a splotchy sickness I hide under half-moon table ends.

My grocery list for two became one.

I went to see you in the mortuary. Cold and pale, lying on that stainless steel slab. A white sheet your silent companion. Your muscles had tightened, the doctor said, as he pointed to your face. A little grin, like the one I saw that morning. Small comfort, but I was glad all the same.

Another dawn breaks as I take over your niche. I feel the pull of the trails and know what you felt in those moments. I detect a slight curve of my lips as my feet slap the pavement, darting off onto dusty dirt-packed routes. Even in death, your smile will linger.


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on 200 Word Tuesdays:

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