FRAGILE FAÇADE

 
How frail, in truth,
is the world that we tread?
Captains and kings
claiming calm sea’s ahead,
as they’re riding high
upon silver spoons
laughing, as below,
the world withers too soon.
 
How thin the membrane
of life’s brittle bubbles,
building our barriers
and avoiding all troubles.
Do we wonder at the reasons;
do we hide or protect
as we inch to the edge
to see what we detect?
 
“What was that sound;
was there movement out there.
Should I really be asking;
do I even dare?”
Tentatively touching
the flimsy façade,
so supple is the skin
that we daily regard.
 
Looking back upon life,
the days growing harder,
the air is much thicker;
little left in the larder.
Hands hardened by toil
beneath a burning sun
and yet there, outside,
I hear people having fun.
 
“Am I guardian or prisoner
in this creaking cocoon?”
A creeping curiosity
and yet, gone just as soon.
“I wonder what would happen
if I pressed against the skin,
would it hold or would it buckle,
this shield of thought, so thin?”
 
“But wait, all is silent;
the laughter has ceased.
There's sound up above,
the sky looks like it’s creased.
Did they read my thoughts;
hear my questioning refrain?
Better back off slowly
and hope the bubble takes the strain.”
 
“I pray now to the masters
that my bubble doesn’t burst,
to leave my family dying
of hunger and thirst.
Better get back to the fields
and plant my meagre seeds,
hope that nobody noticed me,
and my selfish deeds.”
 
A quick look over his shoulder
and he’s so relieved to see
that the shadows have receded,
he is once again ‘free’
and deep down within,
he breathes a sigh of relief,
for nothing good can come
from upsetting the chief.
 
But somewhere deeper down
there lies a lingering doubt
getting stronger day by the day,
pushing it’s way out.
Questions to ask,
needing answers from those
who do all they can
to conceal and transpose.
 
One day it will grow,
for him, simply too strong
to resist the urge
and it won’t be long.
He fears for that time,
for he knows it must come,
the questions will burst free
like bullets from a gun.
 
Destroying the flesh
of this fragile façade
and revealing a world
so desolate and marred.
The one that the masters
try so hard to hide,
a world, once our home
is now dying outside.
 
But we’re safe in our bubbles;
our precious little worlds,
they tell us to be quiet
and be good boys and girls.
They look after our needs
so we don’t need to fret,
just work and raise a family,
all you need, you will get.
 
And life as we know it
is once again stable,
a daily routine
to put food on the table.
He tills his fields
and sows his seeds
And forgets, with a grin,
his recent misdeeds.
 
At the end of the day
he lays down his head
but the pit of his stomach
hides a darkening dread.
For the questions return
with vengeance and might,
as he settles once again
for a long and restless night.
 
 
Written by Darren Scanlon 12th September 2014
Revised by Darren Scanlon, 1st July 2015.
©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.

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