Bashful – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

a slight alteration
not a full smile
where teeth reveal themselves

just a curled corner of lips lift
your cheek rising upward
winking your eye

those unfamiliar to your face
wouldn't notice the half-smirk
so quickly retreating behind
the coffee mug

 but I saw it as real as sunrise
 and I don't need more
 to know you felt
 joy today

© Ali Grimshaw 2021

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60 thoughts on “Bashful – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

    1. Beverly,
      Capturing small meaningful moments between people is something I love to write about. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.
      Wishing you wellness,
      Ali

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  1. I felt the same way everybody else did about this poem, such a well-caught fleeting moment, the kind of moment that would be lost on anyone other than that specially perceptive person.

    Just one word threw me. Did you really mean ‘smirk’? It’s not the idea I thought you wanted to convey, but maybe it’s one of those words that means different things depending on which continent you’re from.

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    1. Jane,
      I appreciate you asking about the word ‘smirk.’ Words have different meanings based on culture, time period, context etc. I looked up the definition and see what you are talking about. I was thinking about the lesser used definition of a silly crafted smile and even then that is why I wrote half-smirk. I love thinking about words and what they convey to others. I am curious what word do you think would be a good fit?
      Thanks for the opportunity to explore and think about this.
      Have a beautiful day.

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      1. I can’t think of a single word, only phrases like ‘quick shy smile’. There probably is a word to describe what you mean exactly but I don’t know what it is!
        I had a conversation with an editor about word usage, me defending the use of a word that had several definitions and she stuck to her guns that what matters is how most people understand the word. If a word has an overwhelmingly accepted meaning, when you use it, that’s how readers are going to interpret it.
        I know what she meant. It’s a trigger. Hard to not hear what you’ve learned to hear.

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      2. That makes a lot of sense and brings up challenges for writing for a global audience. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I really enjoy your writing

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      3. Many people don’t like comments that are intended as a different view point but are taken as veiled critisicm. It’s why I rarely comment if I can’t say something positive; I wouldn’t want to upset anyone 🙂

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  2. Beautiful poem focused on specifics – conveys a broad message about noticing details with curiosity (rather than preconceptions). Your joy in the other’s joy has me smiling as I read this.

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