HALF-LIFE OF TRUTH

a poem by Lee Emmett, Australia - poetry writer, author, poet

I’ve never felt comfortable
tip-toeing about two-faced
smiling sphinxes who tell you all
by saying nothing -
so why does it hurt when I take
the risk of communicating
with someone who obviously
has so much to hide that
she never takes breath and
just spills over with words,
without allowing reply,
let alone discussion or challenge?
A more sensible person would
give up any attempt to cut
into this maze of deception,
but a thought rankles and
I continue the thankless task -
since just leaving a mass
and jumble of conversational threads
gets into my head. One question
raises a thousand others and
they all filter through a sieve
of previous information which
doesn’t stack up properly.
If there is a possibility
of building a picture of the truth
when the whole foundation is insecure
where do I proceed from here?
What’s the point of second guessing -
is there a lesson to be learnt?
It’s hard enough making a house of cards
when you start with a broad base -
to construct a pyramid upside down
is virtually asking for a miracle.
But there is a stubborn streak in me -
it allows for the mathematical
possibility that extraordinary
and wonderful things can occur -
there may be a momentary flash
of intuition and some speck
of what she’s saying may
hold up against the light.
So when she says that so-and-so
says that the other person
might have done this, and so on,
and so on, why don’t I believe it?


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