a kindred spirit

Happy faces
always smiling.
Going places
always smiling.

Oh! Why don’t
they realize
that happy faces
can also cry.

We listen to the pain
that they can’t bear.
But where are they
when we need to share?

The anger and hurt
well up inside.
But the happy face
quickly covers to hide.

So put on the happy face
let’s see a smile.
It’ll cover the tears
at least for awhile.

Then another happy face
picks up your hand.
Finally someone
who will understand.


I wrote this poem in February 1987 when I was in Technical School shortly after joining the Air Force. Somehow I became really good friends with a guy in one of my classes. At first I didn’t get along with him because he was always joking and kind of being annoying. After I got to know him, I realized the shyness and pain he was masking, and I could really relate to that.

Ⓒ 2019 Lisa Shaughnessy

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