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A Smile To Remember - Poem by Charles Bukowski

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


Comments about A Smile To Remember by Charles Bukowski

  • Rookie CHARLES (8/12/2018 4:02:00 AM)

    BE HAPPY, JUST BE HAPPY, NO MATTER HOW HARD IT CAN BE, EVEN JESUS WAS HAPPOY THROUGH HARD TIME, (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 8,034 Points Britte Ninad (8/10/2018 12:54:00 AM)

    heart touching writings-

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

  • Freshman - 529 Points Lily Ives (7/4/2018 10:47:00 PM)

    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. (Report) Reply

Read all 101 comments »

Poems About Remember

  1. 1. A Smile To Remember , Charles Bukowski
  2. 2. Remember , Christina Georgina Rossetti
  3. 3. I Remember, I Remember , Thomas Hood
  4. 4. Three Things To Remember , William Blake
  5. 5. I Remember , Stevie Smith
  6. 6. Body Remember , Constantine P. Cavafy
  7. 7. Do You Remember...Because I Do , Mariah Williams
  8. 8. Do You Remember? , Sandra Fowler
  9. 9. Remember Him, Whom Passion's Power , George Gordon Byron
  10. 10. Do You Remember Once . . . , Alan Seeger
  11. 11. I Remember Then , C.J. Heck
  12. 12. Remember, Body... , Constantine P. Cavafy
  13. 13. Try To Remember Some Details , Yehuda Amichai
  14. 14. Let Erin Remember The Days Of Old , Thomas Moore
  15. 15. Remember Thee! Remember Thee! , George Gordon Byron
  16. 16. I Don’t Remember The Word I Wished To Say , Osip Emilevich Mandelstam
  17. 17. Christine P., If You Read This, I Still .. , Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler
  18. 18. Poem (Remember Midsummer: The Fragrance .. , Delmore Schwartz
  19. 19. Do You Remember Me? Or Are You Proud? , Walter Savage Landor
  20. 20. Remember Me , William Percy French
  21. 21. Do I Remember You? , C.J. Heck
  22. 22. Remember That When I Fondle Your Breasts , Uriah Hamilton
  23. 23. I Remember You , shreya koppaka
  24. 24. I Remember Mama , C.J. Heck
  25. 25. Dear Love, Do You Remember? , Julia Ann Moore
  26. 26. Remember Thee! , Thomas Moore
  27. 27. ((6) I Remember A Boy , Luis Gil de la Puente
  28. 28. I Remember Zimmy , Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler
  29. 29. Remember Then And Now , Missy Lynn
  30. 30. Well I Remember How You Smiled , Walter Savage Landor
  31. 31. You Remember Ellen , Thomas Moore
  32. 32. °º¤ø, ¸¸, ؤº°`°º¤ø, ¸please Remember Me.. , Kristin Nicole RothDavis
  33. 33. Remember , Angela Davis
  34. 34. I Remember, I Remember , Franklin Pierce Adams
  35. 35. Dost Thou Remember Ever , Mathilde Blind
  36. 36. Do We Remember Them? , David Harris
  37. 37. Always Remember , Jessica Nychkalo
  38. 38. She Does Not Remember , Anna Swirszczynska
  39. 39. Nostalgia: Remember The Flower , Amberlee Carter
  40. 40. I Hardly Remember , Rafael Guillén
  41. 41. I Remember Well That Summer Place. , archie langford
  42. 42. I Remember My Childhood , Sylvia Chidi
  43. 43. It Was August I Remember, I Remember Whe.. , Sean Joyce
  44. 44. I Don'T Even Remember Your Name , Jon Edward Walker
  45. 45. I Remember You , A.J. McKinley
  46. 46. Do You Remember? , David Taylor
  47. 47. Remember The Holocaust , Mustafa Marconi
  48. 48. Remember , Reggie fambro mcclain III
  49. 49. Remember Me , Holly Heron
  50. 50. Do You Remember When...? , Mary Nagy
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