The false self has no soul, an empty shell

Projected into being by the grief

Of he whose true self, buried, longs to tell

A story not of knowing but relief.


The shadow of this man behind the mask

Creeps through the eyes of plastic, painted face

Allowing glimmer only of the task

He failed to conquer:  victories displaced.


Alone inside his painted, breathing frame

The vacant heart he feels displays his pain

To those whose eyes, ignited, bring a flame

Of hopeful truth won through the fight; sustained.


Comparison of dead and live cannot be made-

Bartered to the hidden self is life betrayed.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson


Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German painter Mark Slavin‘s piece, Life Review.  If you would like to further explore Mark Slavin‘s art, please visit his Facebook page and website: Mark’s website , Mark’s Facebook.