be gone, you traitorous unwanted tears
which slip down my face as
I try to maintain my invisible status in crowded places,
or imitate cheer with intimate friends.
am I not mistress of my emotions,
that I cannot control the ocean of saline
that falls from my eyes, refusing to hide
as if begging attention?
while friends understand and empathise
I cannot explain to nameless strangers, who
may catch my eye with a silent question
and then pass by, wondering at my open emotion
and with compassionate pang, pause for a moment, as
they briefly consider reaching out with their sympathy,
but deep in thought, they amble away
fearing it may be rude to intrude
but feeling guilty all the same,
while I in my private innocent misery
have cast a vague shadow over their day.
FAO Sarah, and anybody else who is alarmed by the tone of this post: it refers to the way I was feeling two years ago, not the way I am now.
©Jane Paterson Basil