Deceptive smiles

a picture is worth a thousand words
is what they say
and usually that means
its stunning, its exquisite
put this in a place of honor

but this picture
it speaks a thousand words
about everything this picture
doesn’t show

the mask of smiles you wear
goes only so far as to flit across your face
it doesn’t go to your heart
it stealthily hides
the bitterness and gile that are your
daily bread

i know about the pain he suffers
i know about the bruises
the words that cut like razors
the way your taunts reverbrate
telling him he’s not good enough
he’ll always be less than enough

and i see the glance between mom and son
she lives in a world of her own making
thinking he’s the golden child
that he’ll make something of himself
a name for himself for her for them

and she turns a blind eye

to the black eye
and the bruised heart

so yes,
this picture is worth a thousand words
or more

but they aren’t the kind you want to frame
the kind you want to put over the fireplace

these are the skeletons in your closet
creeping into the light
shove them back with a hard hand
keep them where they belong
don’t let them reveal the lie your living

wear the mask
wear the smile
let it fade away
till all that remains
is the grisly grin
of your skeletal remains.

the truth has been revealed

and darkness and deceit drown in the light
you’ve got nothing left…

hang those skeletons out to dry.

by Janel Andrews

written July 27/2013

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