“Pictures of Smiles” by Jeffrey Libby

The roaring of ocean waves
crashing over feet while
warm, sand squishes its
way through toes.
Looking out the window
over the tip of the wing to
see the lights growing out of
darkness on a gentle descent.
The bubble wrap pops of a
log in the fireplace filling
the room as shadows
waltz across walls.
Waking up to the fresh scent
of a steaming pot of coffee or
rain lightly pitter pattering
at the thin tin roof.
A picture of a smile.
A memory of happiness framed
in a moment, a smell, a taste, a feeling.
A way back into the past.
Feeling thousands of people around
under the lights and smoke,
bumping into one another
to the beat of the music.
Jumping off of a cliff in the
hot summer and falling into the
breathtakingly cool water below.
The warmth beneath the sheets
on a cold day in winter.
A deep breath of home after
being gone for some time and
a long goodnight kiss outside
the front door under the yellow
glow of a porch light.
The taste of favorite restaurants
or a hot home-cooked meal.
Pushing another pin in somewhere
on a map, a new color for a new place.
The freedom felt behind the
wheel for the first time alone.
Liquor on lips after the first legal sip.
Pressing through the work, the drama,
sleepless nights and early mornings for
the most important piece of paper.
The gain that follows the pain
and getting to say it was worth it.
Laughing out loud with a best friend.
Falling asleep beside a loved one
and holding them close in the dark.
A-little-too-hot chocolate with gooey melted
marshmallows next to a Christmas tree.
Being first in line when the ice cream truck
finally decides you’ve chased long enough.
Your first walk-off homer with dad in the stands.
The way dye looks when you drip
a drop into a glass of water;
how it plumes like smoke and
takes over the clear liquid.
The smeared colors of the world,
all of its blues and greens.