I am not what I appear to be.

Maybe you see a mother when you look at me. Loving and kind, firm and encouraging, exhausted and proud.

Or maybe you see a wife. Loyal friend, passionate partner.

Perhaps you even see a daughter, a granddaughter, or a grandmother.

But you’re wrong.

I am an imposter. Playing my role with dedication, determined to get every detail right. Determined to fool every last one of you.

One day, I will break free. Shed the obligations, break the rules, and leap.

Until then, I will appear to be exactly what you see.


This is my submission for this week’s Trifecta writing challenge. The word this week is appear and the third definition is:

3: to have an outward aspect : seem <appears happy enough>

Here are the rules:

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone.  Please join us.


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32 thoughts on “Charlatan

  1. Suzanne, I love the image of the gold mask you used to go along with your poetic piece. We play many parts in life, all of them, no matter how good an “act” are still a part of who we are. Without the ability to see/portray the person we play, we would not know what is expected. The difference that I see, is some are better at multiplicity than others. Nicely written.

  2. Great title, great piece. Keeping up appearances to get what we need.. until we have it, and then.. who can say. I wonder about this probably more often than I ought to. Are people really who they seem to be?

  3. How mysterious. It makes me wonder how many people I know that I don’t really know. To some extent, I think we all attempt to appear like we have “it” together, even when it feels like we don’t

  4. What a thoughtful piece. The question is: who are we when we take off that mask and look in the mirror? “Determined to fool every last one of you” is priceless. Excellent writing. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Someone once told me that life is a theatre and we are all playing a role. This piece really spoke to me as I often dream of ‘breaking free’, although I am not sure I’ll ever figure out where my roles end and the real ‘me’ begins…

  6. Oh, that yearning to leap that never goes away! And you know that grandmother is still gonna wanna leap.
    Also, terrific descriptions of the “false” selves.

  7. At this very moment in time, this hit me like a prose laden punch. So many facets of a single person, filling required roles even when sometimes you just want to beat feet and be yourself with no labels. Loved this.

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