See my steady, friendly smile;
ignore my tearful red eyes.
Focus on the comfortable mask
that hides all of my lies.
The mask has little peep holes
for my eyes to gaze out through,
but the smile is painted on
because it's easier than being true.
The mask is a well-worn friend,
and it fits over my tears like a glove;
while it hides within, it withholds too,
all the compliments and sometimes love.
See the chipping cracks on the mask;
ignore the plentiful tape and paste.
Some are old, some are new,
and some have left a bad taste.
The mask has gaping rifts
from where my real emotions show,
but, although I want to share them,
I never want anyone to see me low.
The mask is a snug-fitted muzzle,
and it silences my voice to a whisper;
and though it comes quiet and timid,
my words will flow out like a river.
See the candid spots of pink and red;
ignore the pale bandages void of blush and sun.
The mask is finally slipping loose and sliding off,
and with my freedom, with my words, I'll run.