I believed I grew up in an ugly town,
A small community tucked in a small corner
Where smiles stayed hidden
And were rarely found.
The land was hot and dry in summer,
But cold and wet in winter.
Everyone said it was ugly
And I believed it to be the center
Of a cosmic mistake.
Where was the beauty?
The town pulled at me
Tied me down,
Trapped me in webs of misery
And kept me bound.
“Leave it. Leave it,” I was warned.
“There are places to see, places to be,
Stay away from this town where hope cannot see.”
For years I searched for beauty and smiles,
Crossed oceans and mountains and countless miles.
I did not find the city of my dreams.
Happiness did not exist,
All cities were the same.
I returned to my city,
Weary and worn from my search.
I had learned to smile, learned to enjoy,
Learned to change my attitude.
I greeted each person I chanced to meet,
With a smile.
I looked around and found
Changes in my ugly town.
In the summer it was kissed by the sun,
And the cold in winter was also fun.
This was not a town of misery,
But a town of hope for all to see.
Each smile I encountered brightened my way,
And the town grew more beautiful day by day.
My town, a place to live and grow,
An Eden, a garden below.
Beauty is now found inside of me,
And my smiles are there for all to see.
By Dan Roberson