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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
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

Comments about A Smile To Remember by Charles Bukowski

  • laurence burris 11/14/2020 6:40:00 PM

    Charles nails what it is like to live in a home full of sadness and ennui.

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Juliet L Languedoc 7/16/2020 8:53:00 PM

    This is profoundly done - love with unfolding beauty of true love. Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • ASmileToRemember 4/29/2020 11:51:00 AM

    https: //.youtube/watch? v=nfX7zDjJJH4 Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • J.B. Eliot 10/7/2019 4:36:00 PM

    He's a good cautionary tale of what domestic violence in the house does to a childs psyche. Perhaps happiness to him felt like a contrivance too often because he saw his mom pull it over any tragedy like setting drapes in front of a window with a large mushroom cloud in the distance. Reply

    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • naftuli 9/15/2019 2:12:00 PM

    My last month paycheck was for 11000 dollars… All i did was simple online work from comfort at home for 3-4 hours/day that I got from this agency I discovered over the internet and they paid me for it 95 bucks every hour.... Here ======►► ★★★COPY THIS SITE★★★ Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Adeeb Alfateh 6/16/2019 1:48:00 AM

    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? '

    great 10++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. Asuncion 4/5/2019 12:34:00 AM

    A touching poem full of emotion........ Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • new zealand man 3/20/2019 6:06:00 PM

    man made out of vodka and cigarettes Reply

    0 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Someone stranger 3/13/2019 3:33:00 PM

    Happiness is something everybody wants to get but not everyone certainly reach it Reply

    0 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Vavroovahana Patra 1/15/2019 5:55:00 AM

    Penned melancholically Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
Read all 111 comments »
Remember Poems
  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. Do You Remember Once . . .
    Alan Seeger
  10. 10. Remember Him, Whom Passion's Power
    George Gordon Byron
  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. Christine P., If You Read This, I Still ..
    Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler
  17. 17. I Don’t Remember The Word I Wished To Say
    Osip Emilevich Mandelstam
  18. 18. Poem (Remember Midsummer: The Fragrance ..
    Delmore Schwartz
  19. 19. Do You Remember Me? Or Are You Proud?
    Walter Savage Landor
  20. 20. Dear Love, Do You Remember?
    Julia Ann Moore
  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. Remember Thee!
    Thomas Moore
  26. 26. Remember Me
    William Percy French
  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. Remember The Holocaust
    Mustafa Marconi
  39. 39. I Hardly Remember
    Rafael Guillén
  40. 40. I Remember Well That Summer Place.
    archie langford
  41. 41. I Remember My Childhood
    Lovina Sylvia Chidi
  42. 42. It Was August I Remember, I Remember Whe..
    Sean Joyce
  43. 43. I Don'T Even Remember Your Name
    Jon Edward Walker
  44. 44. I Remember You
    A.J. McKinley
  45. 45. Do You Remember?
    David Taylor
  46. 46. Remember
    Reggie fambro mcclain III
  47. 47. Do You Remember When...?
    Mary Nagy
  48. 48. Remember Me
    Holly Heron
  49. 49. She Does Not Remember
    Anna Swirszczynska
  50. 50. Please Remember Me
    Uriah Hamilton

New Remember Poems

  1. Christmas Past, Patricia Kelley
  2. A Tale Of Two Decks, Jim Yerman
  3. 1970, Jon Yttri
  4. Mother's Day 1986, Marquita Lawson
  5. Remember, Jim Yerman
  6. I Remember What Most Choose To Forget, Qiniso Mogale
  7. Let's Not Forget To Remember, Qiniso Mogale
  8. I Remember, Alexandria Bellous
  9. You Die; I Die - Love Poems - Part 16, Nikhil Parekh
  10. Do You Remember, MATLOOB BUKHARI

Remember Poems

  1. Remember

    Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann'd: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.

  2. I Remember, I Remember

    I Remember, I Remember I remember, I remember The house where I was born, The little window where the sun Came peeping in at morn; He never came a wink too soon Nor brought too long a day; But now, I often wish the night Had borne my breath away. I remember, I remember The roses red and white, The violets and the lily cups-- Those flowers made of light! The lilacs where the robin built, And where my brother set The laburnum on his birthday,-- The tree is living yet! I remember, I remember Where I was used to swing, And thought the air must rush as fresh To swallows on the wing; My spirit flew in feathers then That is so heavy now, The summer pools could hardly cool The fever on my brow. I remember, I remember The fir-trees dark and high; I used to think their slender tops Were close against the sky: It was a childish ignorance, But now 'tis little joy To know I'm farther off from Heaven Than when I was a boy.

  3. I Remember

    It was my bridal night I remember, An old man of seventy-three I lay with my young bride in my arms, A girl with t.b. It was wartime, and overhead The Germans were making a particularly heavy raid on Hampstead. Harry, do they ever collide? I do not think it has ever happened, Oh my bride, my bride.

  4. Three Things To Remember

    A Robin Redbreast in a cage, Puts all Heaven in a rage. A skylark wounded on the wing Doth make a cherub cease to sing. He who shall hurt the little wren Shall never be beloved by men.