But Still I Smile
My confident smile
With my mouth
And my teeth
And almost my eyes.
They don’t notice. They never do. I switch it on when needed. My mask serves me well.
They ask me again. To do more. To take charge. To take the microphone.
And I do.
Before and after, I am dizzy. So tired. The world slips in and out of focus.
But then the trigger flips my switch. And the act begins.
There are times I slip. My thoughts not sharp enough. And some notice. But never say. Or even ask if I’m okay.
And I get through. I never fail because I know the role. I act it well. And I fear their stares, confused if I just stopped or even faltered.
But it’s not the fear of failure that haunts me most.
It’s the fear of success. Of moving on to the next level. The next stage. Where I will surely be discovered.
I smile my confident smile.
And they smile back.