The Crying Mask

Satyakam Ray

Eyes are red, inflicted with pain,
pouring heavily with stoic strain.

The heart is heavy; the soul is numb,
Witnessing theatrics is dumb.

This is my front, covering the face,
saving the real below the surface.

Serving my purpose, I am the mask,
belies the feelings; that’s my task.

My front side bearing the brunt,
Rear watching the grin- quite stunned.

Things have changed; I have reversed the role,
and showing a happy face is my goal.

Devasted heart, the soul is in tears,
watching the actual- my empathic rear.

Anguish screams are all I can hear,
though the front shows glimpses of laughing seer.

To do my job, with tears rippling,
God, I have to become a Charlie Chaplin!

I hope this ends with my bondage gone,
theatrics being done, and actors shunned.

This is me, no pretend,
crying out my heart in repentance.

Enough of the image, enough of the job,
hiding a broad grin or lingering sob.

I don’t want a face to hang on,
enjoy my freedom, or move on.

No, that’s not possible; that’s not real,
Meeting my maker seems so surreal.

Will be used again; I am the crying mask,
no escape; deceiving others is my task!

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