Poem – facade

I watch them more closely
than they do me.
They pick people apart with smiles.
Telling stories, twisted slightly,
always winning. Shake their hand once,
you’re not a friend. They’ve allowed
your presence. Watching their world.
They’ll demand it. Sit down. And be.
-Because these men
hide behind their shame.
I see them clearly, and listen when-
Sitting on their deck, drinking whiskey,
they obliged, of course, wishing you to think
of their wisdom, with their fake caring,
rocking and rocking while their daughters
fail at happiness and their wives are afraid
to tip the scale; heaven knows what happened,
and heaven is waiting. Because I know men
are men. I shave my beard in the morning,
How I like. I look at these men with empty grace.
They will not know me.

-M. Taggart