Beware the smile that doesn’t reach the eyes,
That curls the lips and bridges the space between you,
That fills the gap in conversation:
But doesn’t touch the void inside.
Beware the “I’m OK” and the brush-off “Don’t be daft”.
Beware the lies that drip like rain,
The flood of jokes and tides of laughter:
The most effective cloaks for pain.
Beware the rock who’s there for others,
The steady hand and solid hug.
The one who always puts you first:
Dismissing their own troubles with a shrug.
Beware the strong dependable other,
Who you just “know” is doing fine.
This is the greatest mask we wear,
To hide the deepest pain inside.

Beware the distant rumble of thunder,
On a brilliant summer’s day.
Beware the whipping of the wind,
When not a single branch has swayed.
Beware the waves crashing on the shore,
As the tide peacefully departs.
And be aware of the slow and silent breaking
Of that other person’s heart.