The Stranger

An unknown face, once familiar:
A smile that crinkles the eyes, a laugh that attracts attention—
A warmth that bleeds kindness,
Until kindness runs dry and warmth disappears.
The smile touches nothing; the laugh turns hollow—
And coldness overtakes.
A familiar face transforms into a stranger—
The same features slightly shifted,
Same words dripping with a different flavor.

Turn the hourglass back to Once—
When I knew you.
Strength incomparable, smile sincere.
Now is the engulfing twilight that sees the dimming—
Of hope, of love.

Unhappiness, the worst of all diseases,
Poisons from within, subtly overtaking—
The best of people.

If strength wanes, look around—
A sea of faces surrounds you,
Others whose will can bear yours.
I hope mine remains familiar.

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