Once upon a time..

Once upon a time son,

They used to laugh with their hearts 

And laugh with their eyes.

But now they only laugh with their teeth,

While their ice-block-cold eyes

Search behind my shadow.


There was a time indeed

They used to shake hands with their hearts,

but that's gone son. 

Now they shake hands without their hearts,

while they left hands search

my empty pockets.


'Feel at home!' 'Come again!'

They say and when I come,

Again and feel

at home, once, twice,

there will be no thrice - 

for then I find doors shut on me.


So I have learned many things, son.

I have learned to wear many faces

Like dresses - homeface

officeface, streetface, hostface,

cocktailface, with all their comforting smiles

like a fixed portrait smile.


And I have learned too.

To laugh with only my teeth,

and shake hands without my heart. 

I have also learned to say, 'good-bye'

when I mean 'good-riddance.'

To say 'glad to meet you,'

without being glad; and to say, 'it's been

nice talking to you,' after being bored. 


But believe me, son,

I want to be what I used to be,

when I was like you. I want

to unlearn all these muting things.

Most of all, I want to relearn

How to laugh, for my laugh in the mirror

shows only my teeth

like a snakes bare fangs!


So show me, son,

how to laugh, show me how.

I used to laugh and smile,

Once upon a time when I was like you. 

This poem is about: 
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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