Bell's Palsy

by Ignatzio

I woke up last month
and the left side of my face wouldn't move.
I found it odd, amusing,
and spent a long morning
in front of the bathroom mirror,
chuckling at the drooping skin-
until my wife saw it
and made me see a doctor.
He said I had a "strange condition",
"a medical mystery"
with a long name,
and gave me some pills
to swallow twice after every meal.

My son came over for dinner,
and I struggled to not let
salivated mush gush from my half-frown
and embarrass my wife or
horrify my son. Though he'd smile.
But when he thought I wasn't
looking; I'd notice he would
let slip this revolted snarl.
When he said it was time he went back home,
I walked him to the door with a dumb joke
about my face and we laughed.
Upstairs, I stared into the mirror again,
until my wife caught me crying.