Black Smile


I am committed to writing a post every day for three months! I have skipped one day so far and I am determined that today will not be another (I hate that feeling of guilt, even with the string of excuses I have ready.)

So initially, today’s post was meant to be a How To Write a Villanelle post (coming to you soon) but I couldn’t find a Villanelle that I had created, so I wanted to write a new one but I got all wrapped up in church and ish.

Anyway, to avoid waking up tomorrow feeling guilty…I am posting a poem I wrote a while back. It was created as a result of a poetry prompt – we (my fellow poets and I) were encouraged to write a poem about something without naming it and see if the subject could be guessed.

Here’s mine, let me know if you can guess what/who it is!



Disney did you a great injustice

Made you orange slashed with white stripes, the youngest


Not strong enough to swim against the tide

I came before you, so I’m to be your guide.


Your mouth shaped in an O, blowing bubbles

Drowning in struggles


You shouldn’t even have been aware of yet.

O sweet child – lesson one: Avoid the fishing net!


If there is a void and you see no one around

Make a run for it, bury your head in the ground.


Lesson two – a tap water filled bowl

Faces peering, nose pressed against glass, a scowl.


Yet you, already you plaster a black smile across your face

You want to set your own pace.


A hook slipped through my spine

Squirming, I know I have to let go in time,


But not so soon as this,

Surrounded by sharks and brutes with fists


Surely it will go remiss

If I do.



About the author

Oyinkan Braithwaite


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May 2019
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