Another " White Lie"

It is the most compact
of all dialogues
a clipped conversation
that had become so
routine-
it is one of the first
phrases
learned in a foreign
language course.
It is a question- answer
oft repeated
quickly, given by rote
it has become
a mindless murmuring.
" How are you?"
"Fine..."
- So much chatter
even in the midst of
tragedy
we mutter a simple
" Okay."
And why do we lie?
What if we are anything
but "Fine?"
Is it easier to sidestep
the truth
maneuver to another topic
anything-
than to
explain,
reveal
the "why's"
of why we aren't
"Fine?"
Thus, we lie
stoics
with a stiff upper lip,
a faked smile
we guard
hard truths.

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