We Are All Liars Today

You asked me if I’m telling the truth.
We only just met. Why would I lie to you?

I lie to my beloved,
Lest she see me as weak.

I lie to my children,
Lest they see me as unwise.

I lie to my friends,
Lest they see me as uncaring.

I lie to my dog,
Lest he see me as distracted.

I lie in the mirror,
Lest I see myself as mortal.

Why would I lie to you?
We only just met.

 

The Backstory

  • One day last week, in the Grand Canyon, our rafting expedition woke after a night of apprehension for that day we would face especially large rapids, including Sockdolager, Hance, and a 20′ wall of water at Hermit. Our guides had briefed us with dire warnings about these most difficult whitewater challenges. Our group had already sustained an injury a day (including a dislocated knee, a sprained foot, a sprained ankle — and this day would see a torn bicep), so the nightly briefing had caught our attention and ignited our fears. As we broke down our camp, Camera Bob took a photograph of Matt Slaybaugh. Matt asked, “Do I look OK?” Bob said yes. As Matt returned to his packing, he said, grimly,¬†sotto voce, “We are all liars today.”
  • Several years ago, an author visited our O’Bohs Book Club. He was surprised by my candor. I said, “Why would I lie to you? I only just met you. Why would I care what you think of me? I only lie to my friends.” Everyone laughed. Matt’s comment on Rapids Day was the title I needed to explore the idea.

Happy Father’s Day. To whom will you lie today?