I walked alone from work to home, was weary from my day,
My feet were dragging, head was down, I brooded on my way;
I saw the feet of others pass, but did not catch their eyes,
I wore a frown, kept looking down, and heaved some heavy sighs.
I walked that way for several blocks, until I came across,
A piece of paper on the ground that someone must have lost.
The card from several feet above, was easy to make out,
The writing was so big and bold … as if it tried to shout!
It said to "PICK ME UP" and had "IMPORTANT" at the top,
Now even in my sour mood … it gave me pause to stop.
I hesitated, thought it rude, and waited for a time,
Perplexed by such an order - curiosity was primed.
I glanced around, saw no one near, and bent to reach for it,
The card was worn and slightly faded, torn and ripped a bit.
I picked it up and turned it over … all it said was "SMILE",
I stared at it, my face a blank, it had me quite beguiled.
I analyzed it far too much, as well I tend to do,
I wondered of the sorry soul who needed this, it's true;
From all it's ragged edges, it had surely been well read,
How sad that someone needed this, to lighten up their dread.
I flipped it over several times and looked around again,
When suddenly, I noticed yet a second card just then;
I only paused a moment, picked it up without a thought,
And wondered in a pointless sigh, the message I'd be taught.
I squinted at the tiny print, so different from the first,
It was instructions that I found, it rhymed in flowing verse;
And then as if by magic, I could feel my mouth transform,
The corners tilted slowly, till a grin began to form.
I wondered who had dropped the cards and laughed despite myself,
I placed one card back on the ground, and paced just five steps out;
I set the other card face up, and read it with a smile,
"IMPORTANT PICK-ME-UP" it yelled … and there I grinned a while.
I walked away, the cards behind, their message though remained,
While simple clear instructions kept repeating through my brain ...
"A smile can be contagious, it can brighten up your day,"
"And this is to remind you friend ... it's never far away."
"A little grin, a twinkle in your eye is all I ask,"
"A howdy-do to others with a smile as you both pass."
"When you are finished reading, drop one card and take 5 steps,"
"Then drop this other card and leave this message for the next."
I followed those instructions that the author meekly asked,
It really wasn't much at all … a rather simple task;
I nodded at a passerby, I flashed a giant grin,
My head held high, I caught their eye, they smiled right back and then ...
A second, third and fourth … contagious! Oh, my heart was warmed,
With every smile I offered out, blank faces were transformed;
No longer feeling weary, nor alone, I walked along,
I greeted every person with a grin a mile long.
I wondered at my fortune … at this little stroke of luck …
Two little cards reminding me, that "I" can "Pick-ME-Up".