POEM| A Smile

See, I have a smile on my face
but it’s not really a smile
This is my smiley face
my alter-ego
the one I switch to
so I’m not told to smile
or considered unpleasant
when I approach people
who think one has to wear
a smile all the damn time
It’s the disguise I wear
once I’m outside my space
to fit in the world
so I don’t get asked If I’m okay
It’s my side kick
that comes along with me
everywhere I go
so I can be considered normal
Sometimes, I choose to
widen my mouth just a little bit
Other times, I show a few teeth
if I think its needed
but when I’m within my safe space
my masks come off
my real face comes on
and I’m glad
I don’t have to pretend anymore

Do you ever feel this way?

Mariam Shittu