Analyze the poem "A Smile Always Heals."

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In "A Smile Always Heals," we're reminded that mother knows best. She's always told her daughter Surya that a smile always heals, and sure enough, that's precisely what happens when the girl and her friend have a slight falling out. Her friend smiles, and all is well.

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In Suma Subramaniam's short poem "A Smile Always Heals," we become reacquainted with the old adage that mother knows best. The speaker's mother has always told her that, in the words of the poem's title, a smile always heals. In other words, a smile makes everything better, and it can heal pain and suffering.

The speaker, a girl named Surya, puts this to the test by sitting next to her friend, with whom she's had a falling out, in the school cafeteria. She smiles at her but doesn't initially get a response. Surya's friend simply looks down at her food and eats her cheeseburger.

At this precise moment in the poem, it looks like mother really doesn't know best after all. Surya's friend is not responding to her friendly overtures. It would seem that she's still sore over Surya splattering ink on her shirt when she got Surya's name wrong.

In the event, Surya hits upon the simple expedient of saying sorry. This provokes a smile from her friend, leading Surya to conclude that her mother was right after all: a smile really does heal.

However, what's notable here is that the smile only came from Surya's friend—and by extension, the subsequent healing—after Surya said sorry. Perhaps this means that we should alter her mom's advice ever so slightly to include an apology in the process of healing.

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