A Smile To Remember

we had goldfish and they circled around and around
in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes
covering the picture window and
my mother, always smiling, wanting us all
to be happy, told me, 'be happy Henry!'
and she was right: it's better to be happy if you
can
but my father continued to beat her and me several times a week while
raging inside his 6-foot-two frame because he couldn't
understand what was attacking him from within.

my mother, poor fish,
wanting to be happy, beaten two or three times a
week, telling me to be happy: 'Henry, smile!
why don't you ever smile?'

and then she would smile, to show me how, and it was the
saddest smile I ever saw

one day the goldfish died, all five of them,
they floated on the water, on their sides, their
eyes still open,
and when my father got home he threw them to the cat
there on the kitchen floor and we watched as my mother
smiled

by Charles Bukowski

Comments (97)

Happiness is the innermost precious emotion that is rarely found..nyc piece Charles
BE HAPPY, JUST BE HAPPY, NO MATTER HOW HARD IT CAN BE, EVEN JESUS WAS HAPPOY THROUGH HARD TIME,
heart touching writings- and then she would smile, to show me how, and it was the saddest smile I ever saw
This poem is so sad. She experienced torment, and thought her children that we are slaves to our suffering. He spent the rest of his life, trying to heal his father's pain...but my father continued to beat her and me... while raging inside... because he couldn't understand what was attacking him from within. It seems the same fate befell Charles and that he drank because he couldn't understand what was attacking him from within. Powerful poem.
Really nice write...I likeit.
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