“No mask like open truth to cover lies, As to go naked is the best disguise.” - William Congreve
How many times in our lives it is necessary for us to conceal what is in our mind, what is in our heart, what we really feel in our soul, and present to the world a picture that is acceptable for the circumstances… Our public mask whether a cheerful one, whether one of well-measured composure, or one of self-assured competence is one that may hide below it pain, bitterness, despair, disappointment, disillusionment…
This is my contribution to the Magpie Tales poetry meme.
I Am What I Am
You ask of me to bare myself –
Remove my public mask
Reveal my hidden side,
Shed my chameleon cloak.
You ask of me to doff an armour
I have worn so long it feels like second skin;
To cast off artifice, duplicity,
Discard my cultivated image.
You ask of me to trim my tresses,
Make you a gift of my vulnerability;
Be rid of my convenient nebulosity
Appear before you naked, like the truth.
The mask removed reveals a second mask beneath it;
My armour shed, reveals a hardened carapace below it;
Stripped of my shifting colours,
I simply show you my camouflage even better.
I am that which I am; what I am, I am not,
I am what you have made me, not what I truly am.
The image above of Marilyn Monroe is by Bert Stern