A Smile in the Dark

It’s like looking at the stars in the night sky…

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A flurry of activity, all around him: children are running about, playing soccer in dusty school uniform, clouds of dirt rising at their hurried footfalls; birds flit about from branch to branch like black streaks in the brightness of an August afternoon, withered blades of grass dangling from their beaks as they fret about their nests; tides of animated chatter surge and recede; here, shouts of raucous laughter resound; there, a cry bursts from the lips of a lively storyteller.

As he speaks, there is a depth in his eyes as the words trickle forth from him, a depth that beckons, invites his listener to come closer, almost as the clear stillness of the ocean calls one to plumb its depths. His gaze is gentle. Now, a laugh escapes from him, thick and heavy and soft. His brilliant smile wreathes the hard stone lines of his face into smooth, mirthful curves; a twinkle dances in his eyes. It’s like looking at the stars in the night sky, or the warm light of a distant flame in the dark. So black a face, yet so radiant a smile!

 

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