Under The Pretence

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Was it the blue tux he wore
Or the words with his wife, the night before

Or the cucumber salad he ate

Trying so hard to be his jolly old self

A spit and polished caricature
So carefully tended and cultivated

A face he wore
The only defence
To keep him safe

From the world at large
And the threat of raging emotions within

He covered it up
So none would suspect
Yet he smouldered within

Uncomfortable feelings arose
Which had arisen unbidden
And he publicly contained

Expert at deflecting
Lest the graven image he'd carved for himself

Slip even a bit
He'd be standing naked in the market place

A botoxed face
Permanently fixed

Might just keep it all
From slip-sliding away

And the anger peeped through

And back he went
To the pretence

Even as under the pretence

There was no one pretending

Fear of death of self

Where there is no self

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Art: Cartoonist Paul Fernandes