Poetry: How a kind word and a smile can change everything for the better

By Swindon Link - 25 January 2023

Arts and Culture
  • Maurice Spillane

    Maurice Spillane

A monthly column from Maurice Spillane of Poetry Swindon

  • Emilie from Choppers

    Emilie from Choppers

I’ve dark feelings when winter clouds are grey and miserable over Swindon

Even the dog is laconic, still wants his walks, happy to jump in the stream but cringes when I unravel the hose. The garden paths are slippery, been on a list for weeks, but I’ve no energy to hose them while it’s raining. I could go on.

Then I enter a pub or shop or café and my mood is lifted by a lovely smile, such as the server in Lidl, Greenbridge, who smiled and said “follow me” when I couldn’t find batteries; the smiler in Phone Fixers who fixed my phone and wouldn’t charge me; the Brazilian barbers in Excellent Cut who like winter; the ushers in Empire Cinema who really, really want you to have a nice day.

But the best is Emilie and colleagues in Choppers (A338 just after Burbage). Great food, reasonable prices, big smiles. On a cold, wet morning, that’s the place to be for breakfast. Here are a few stanzas from “Your Smile” which I composed there:

The open and close of a café


the lift of your eyes, and the

soft rush

to your smile like a great big

magnet pulsing

heartbeats, my adolescent



I wonder what magic exudes

such warmth,

replicates your smile with

another’s, does for

the inconsequent, as


as removing shoes by an open



I searched the Impressionists

for such smiles

but found few, perhaps Mona Lisa’s

form blending

the edge between colours

in a soft transitional

smile, but nothing of your warmth.


This is how we see ourselves

and each other

when we greet: Sunshine and

open doors,

dashed embargoes, opening


all of these because of your

smile, and more.


More information about Maurice can be found on his website at www.mauricespillane.co.uk

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