The Smile


A smile is just another kind of lie
A practiced mask behind which we hide
We laugh, we grin with a bright face
Behind which are things we’d rather erase.

It is merely another falsity
A mocking oath on the altar of travesty
The curve of a lip hides, more often than not, pain
And suffering rather than joy, endured disdain.

What exists behind a smile is quite varied
Maybe a depressed soul to whom we pay no heed.
“She’s smiling, she’s all right ” is what we think
When in reality, she’s broken, barely balanced on the brink.

It could be someone you think you truly know
The happiest one, the loudest, though
Behind the stage curtains something else lies
Silent screams, razor cuts and bloodshot eyes.

She appears perfectly content and happy
But the cracks lie under the surface unseen
Her fractured thoughts and hopeless cries
For someone to notice her, to save her, to try.

“I’m fine, I’m okay,” she protests when you ask
Simply words- the feelings within to mask
She’s out of control, both abuser and victim
Everyday fast approaching her own requiem.

Look past that glimmering smile to see the scars
That lie on her heart and body before she falls too far
For some steps once taken, certain opened doors
Cannot be closed and may mean she is forever no more.

So be more aware and be more kind
For you never know what wounds you might not see but may find.
Us sad folk are not so easily seen
For we wear smiles of blood and shattered dreams.

– Kaavya Karthikeyan

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