When I first found you,
I thought you were the real deal,
Handsome and of means.
Your mystery, promises
Of jewelry and charitable contributions,
Maybe even a luscious meal with fine wine.
Your credentials, superb at first glance.
How no one had found you before
Is beyond me, but there you were,
Out there where all could see
And in my grasp.
I felt blessed for my good works,
My generous nature, attracting value.
I kept you hidden, my treasure!
How I bragged about my new love!
Friends and family celebrated this bond –
No one had ever found such a prize
Just by chance! –
Until I discovered your true worth
Upon scrutiny as it unfolded!
Your heart, counterfeit;
Our love, a sham!
How duped I was by your smile.
Those eyes, your vivid presence;
Your charisma, regal!
Your sources, trusted!
Your history, infallible!
My dreams, blind, hopeful the treasure authentic.
Your fake demeanor,
A mere cheap costume, shatters me.
My fall from grace hits hard.
Those eyes, mocking slits,
That smile, a sneer!
My love, a low and vile scoundrel in waiting
For an innocent soul.
Image: The fake 100-dollar bill printed by the United Stars of Halloween. I found this folded up on grass along a pathway I was walking on and trying to clean up just to be a good citizen. I felt pretty excited and told everyone I had found 100 dollars! Well, upon closer examination of the bill, I found it was just paper. I was so disappointed and, of course, embarrassed that I hadn’t been more discerning in my excitement. The whole incident reminded me of love gone wrong out of the illusions of authenticity.
Barbara Leonhard is a writer, poet, and blogger at Extraordinary Sunshine Weaver. Her podcast Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul explores universal themes such as Grief, Kindness, and Presence. She taught writing for many years at the University of Missouri and is the author of Discoveries in Academic Writing. She is also a regular contributor to Free Verse Revolution, Phoebe, MD: Poetry + Medicine (https://phoebemd.com/), and Go Dog Go Café.