Remembering Her Smile
by Paulette Demers Turco

Mom’s Mona Lisa smile would serve her well
across the years. It couldn’t quite dispel
her fear when some calamity she knew
about would force her to relay, imbue
a sense in us that nothing’s changed. She’d quell

our fears and quash our celebrations, spell
out how we weren’t to draw attention, tell
us, in her way—as she’d think things through.
Mom’s Mona Lisa smile

hid her uncertainty, was her brave shell–
armor she would not shed when we’d rebel
as teens, when she saw wedding costs accrue.
Years later, when her memory withdrew,
we all knew, until she bid farewell–
Mom’s Mona Lisa smile.


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