Pay No Attention to the Man in Front of the Curtain.
The problem of course,
is that I have been too well trained,
to a Pavlovian pitch.
“How are you?”
“Fine” I say,
as my courage turns to mush,
as my heart splits asunder,
as my legs flounder to find solid ground.
My meanderings, my lost moments,
my struggles, no matter how public,
are dismissed because, after all,
I am still standing,
the smile I was taught to wear in mixed company
still in place.
My father would be proud.
My mother would be proud,
not so much at my training
and my fight against it,
my railing against every instinct
She would forgive my lapses.
It is after all, how she too was trained.
A generational thing
full of well meaning lies,
at the expense of ourselves.
About this poem
My mother once told me that even as a small child, I seem so “self contained” that she didn’t worry about me, even when, perhaps she should have.
Of course I did. She was the same way. I am not sure how well it served either of us. But training is hard to break.