Better to Pretend

Better to Pretend

tell me
is it better
to have learned
how to pretend?

was it better
with brothers and sisters
a mother and father
all dressed
in the same plaid pattern
and smiling on cue
in the family photo?

was it better
to have learned
how to pretend
to love them all
than to have lived
absent of brothers or sisters or father
only a mother
you never had to pretend
to love or respect?

has it served you
better
now that you're older
to have learned
how to
pretend?

was it better
learning to pretend
from infancy
rather than try
acquiring the skill
later
when maybe
by then
it was too late?

was it better
to acquire
hone and nurture
the skill
from birth
so that all the other things
we gotta pretend
we know and believe in now
we can accept
now
without too much fuss?

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