Poem of the Week: Truth

Susan Bassler Pickford
Member-at-large (Maine)


Middle English “trewthe,” from Old English “trēowth” — fidelity;

akin to Old English “trēowe” — faithful — before 1100s


“You can’t handle the truth,” screams Jack Nicholson in a Few Good Men

“Few people can,” I retort in a whisper

The truth is massaged, covered up, dressed down

Like a tired old body

We see it through steely eyes, red eyes and macular distortion

We bend the truth

We torture the truth

And it is

Often camouflaged

Very rarely is the truth

Open, straightforward as a book, or transparent as glass

Because Jack is right

We just can’t handle the bare, unvarnished truth

The faithfulness of facts with reality

The truth that stings, abrades, hurts

The truth that rips the scab off the skin

Exposing the raw tissue of reality



  1. Your poem is a beautiful, unvarnished metaphor.

  2. Sara Etgen-Baker says

    Wow! Powerfully said and I appreciate the imagery. And you and Jack are right….many folks can’t handle the unabashed truth. They’re too comfortable in some sort of illusion. Thanks for sharing your work.

  3. Charlene Holloway says

    This is such a ‘Truthful Poem’–if only everyone would agree as I do with the author! Job well done!

  4. Mary J. Meagherp says

    Susan Pickford sees and speaks the truth.She is a poet and a hero. It is difficult to live in this society and be Diogenes, the truth seeker. Bravo to poet Pickford!
    Mary Joan Meagher, Minnesota Branch.

  5. Martyna Burford says

    Wow! That poem itself is raw, excellent, but somewhat depressing.

  6. That’s true.