Sometimes the joke isn’t
witty enough
and the laughter isn’t
nearly raucous enough
to cover up the hurt
lurking beneath,
crouching for safety
in the shadows of a
silky sheer grin.


Sometimes it takes only
the tiniest whisper
from a sweet observer
who recognizes the glistening
at the corner of an eye
as tears,
struggling not to stream,
and then gently
points a mirror,
so the mourner
cannot help but peer.

And then

Sometimes “I’m sorry”
isn’t near enough
once the slight has been 
exposed to the raw night air
to stop the flow
or silence the denial
the smile tried 
so desperately to 

~ cj 2012.10.02

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