They call them laugh lines.
Down around the eyes telling stories
that turn out not so funny.
The truth behind them is simply
keeping up appearances.
Years of looking happy so no one
really knows the truth.
Smiling for work, for your boss.
At neighbors and parents of school events.
Smiling at the children, the husband
and family members.
Yet no one notices the pain in the eyes.
Fear masked day in and day out.
So much that even when you look at your own
reflection you don’t recognize the creature