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why pretend we know
what we cannot truly know
of people we hardly know

minds are not easy to read
from Facebook chatter, the least
truths, half-truths, quarters
feelings expressed in bits and pieces

what is stated could be a deep-seated wish
or an easily concocted imagined dish
shyness holds back
or overcompensates
inside them bullies hide fear
and berate everyone far and near
some hold their cards close to the chest
while shouting something meaningless as what’s best
others share jokes
hiding heartache that chokes
those that watch and say nothing
present a picture of knowing everything
people who laugh and act silly
are dismissed as clowns without substance, brusquely
sharing political wisdom
is considered proof you are not dumb
passionate players for social justice
are mocked as armchair critics

what we get, mere impressions
on which we base all our assumptions
and pretend we know
what we cannot really know
of people we hardly know

©Shail Mohan 2016

Daily Prompt: Pretend

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