Getting to Know Someone

You think that you do –

You know that they’re “doing just fine how are you?”

You know where they’re from

and what major or job;

you’ve heard plenty of their

opinions on god.

But what about that scar

up above their left ear?

And why does their smile

seem so quick to disappear

at the mention of "home?"

Oh, the look in their eyes

that sad empty stare

makes you go home and cry.

Why is it that no matter how much you know

you still feel so helpless

at the feet of their woe?

You don’t know a thing about

their state of being

or the last time they laughed,

without it so quickly fleeing.

It’s a fraud, it is

this relationship of yours,

Where all true emotions

are hidden behind doors.

Where you never truly know

if they’re happy or sad

or how their relationship is with their dad.

But, smile and nod,

and go about your day

pretending to understand

the things that they say.

Things may not make any sense,

but there’s no one to talk to

about bitter loneliness.


About My Poem:

“Getting to Know Someone” was inspired from observing my own interactions with other people and noticing how detached and flat our conversations tend to be. When I am engaging in social conversation, I often feel as if I am just gathering information on the person, piece by piece, but never actually understanding him or her fully or gaining emotional connection. I never know if he or she is really “doing just fine” because we rarely disclose our genuine emotions. We live in a world where we are constantly surrounded by others, yet ultimately alone because we lack the ability to completely understand each other.

Although this can be a very frustrating and lonely matter with which to come to terms, it goes to show the importance of treating everyone with kindness and compassion. Each person you meet is carrying his or her own weight of emotional burden and you never truly know what he/she is battling internally. Despite the complexity between knowing and understanding an individual, the answer to how to treat him or her remains quite clear: as you would treat yourself.