My Father’s Smile

I don’t understand what you mean when you say I have a disarming smile
But I assume it means that I have my father’s smile
The one that makes you laugh when all you want to do is pout
Smile when all you want to do is frown
Pause when all you want to do is keep on walking
And dream when the nightmares refuse to stay at bay.
I may not know what a disarming smile looks like
But I sure hope it looks like my father’s smile.

———
“My Father’s Smile” by Azul Serena

Exhaustion

I collapse on my bed like a dead weight. Bones heavy from carrying the weight my shoulders cannot bear. Eyes so heavy they rather go dark for the rest of eternity than fight the losing battle to stay awake. I moan and groan while I stretch and twist in an effort to soothe my throbbing muscles. Is this why I embraced countless sleepless nights buried in books and blinded by computer screens? So that I could drag myself home from the office each night, tired, exhausted, spent?

And then I think of them.

My parents.

They have heavier weights to bear, denser bodies that lie heavier than mine, muscles that have long forgot they were once lithely supple. They carry burdens that I will never be able to lift and have sacrificed more hours of sleep than I will ever be able count. All so that I, and the grandchildren they desperately await, won’t collapse under the weight they have silently carried across borders, cultures, and languages. It’s a reminder that I should carry my weight with pride, knowledgeable in the comfort that my children’s children will bear a lighter burden than my own. Because that’s what my parents will every morning when they hoist the weight of the rising sun and slumbering moon.

———
“Exhaustion” by Azul Serena