You Realize that Wasn’t a Smile

Greetings.
We meet again.

So, I posted the original version of this poem a couple weeks ago.  Recently, however, I have revised it, so I thought it would be worth sharing the changes.  Whether it’s improved upon or not is up to the reader, but eh.  I tried.

I’ll include the original for you to look at before you read the new one.

(To be honest, all I did was cut some parts out.  But removing is harder than adding, if you can believe it.)

 

ORIGINAL:

greeting a stranger with a hug near the produce—the oranges have spilled over from their
regular cage onto the floor—you were the only one to help her pick them up—
oranges roll away and make old women cry—when people don’t stop staring at
weeping eyes—when people don’t offer to lift an orange off the ground—they don’t
ignore—they only look—which is worse?—rolling oranges—someone kicked one
neglected in the corner—produce out of the cage—
genuine gentle greeting near the gross grey gate—give the woman justice

untaxed by those that are truly living—sometimes a hug can fix more than what we
pretend to notice—you don’t know what that stranger is going through—smiling on a

whim never hurt the stranger you passed on your way to the produce—
it’s not like you’re incapable of kindness—never know who needs it—
the oranges are rolling—juice spills onto the floor—footsteps trotting—the oranges are
hurting—being treated like doormats despite a stranger’s panicked care—scarlet
orange juice—when did these oranges become blood?—blood oranges made
under footsteps and fire—maybe that woman saw herself in
the orange juice reflection—don’t stare too long at the red puddles—not like she did—

fingers and families and flesh and fruit can all be found—but nothing is free to stay
a whole piece—time turns tables and hourglass sand—the fruit juice will rot into
makeshift blood—orange juice that stains clothes with blood orange tears—you squeeze the
ignored fruit in bare palms—juice runs between your fingers into a chipped plastic cup she
lends to you—and you drink—the woman smiles—pulls you into an embrace right before the horror hits
you—yelling through the tears on a stranger’s shoulder—you realize that wasn’t a smile

— this makes you stronger.

 

REVISION:

strangers stand near the produce—
oranges spilling from cages to the floor
and you were the only one to pick them up
oranges roll away
weeping eyes when people
don’t offer to lift an orange off the ground

someone kicked one
neglected in the corner—
gross grey gate—give then justice

those that are truly living
pretend to notice

whims never hurt
it’s not like you’re incapable of kindness
the oranges are rolling
juice spills
scarlet orange juice
don’t stare too long at the red puddles

flesh and fruit can be found—but nothing is free to stay
fruit juice will rot into Makeshift blood
that stains clothes

the STRANGER smiles
an embrace right before the
horror hits
you—
yelling through the tears on a
stranger’s shoulder

–you realize that wasn’t a smile

 

I spent awhile trying to figure out which cuts would make this poem the most concise and easiest to read.  This is the final revision I have (for now) on this poem.  I think I made it easier, not only to read, but to look at too.

(The first version was a little messy with the dashes everywhere.)

Thank you for reading!  I hope you liked the revisions!

~Until Next Time!~

One thought on “You Realize that Wasn’t a Smile

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