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The Art of Smiling - Patricia Hughes

Today I shall practise the art of smiling.

I will stretch my lips until my teeth crack,

My gums will land on your lap,

bloodied and unsure of what to do next.

I will hold a daffodil in my hand.

Inhaling its sunshine colour,

I will touch the sky.

There will be bliss found lurking in

My sharp edges and dark corners.

I will practise this art of smiling,

Even if it hurts.


"This particular poem is a sardonic response to those people who believe that all you have to do with any mental health condition is "to pull yourself together and put a smile on your face

I am a survivor of sexual, emotional and physical abuse


I have spent long periods of time in psych hospital, sectioned and lost.

It took me a long time to realise that I am not ashamed of my mental health. I won't put a smile on my face because its expected, I will put a smile on my face because it feels right for me.

It is human to feel both positive and negative emotions and it is OK to have scars, be they physical or emotional, regardless of other peoples expectations"

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