Currying Favor

Why are they smiling? I wouldn’t be smiling
if there were something eating away at my insides.
Only a politician with a twisted mirror
would look at it that way. True feeling,
I think, has a different appearance.
Ambition needs to be very strong indeed!
Perhaps he, too, had surgery, some kind of Botox
that eliminates frowns, dries up the tear ducts.
Perhaps it is not him at all, but a doll,
or an automaton, a jack-in-the-box
epitomizing the artificial. Maybe the real him
is not there, but is still inside.
On the other hand, maybe I’m wrong.
It may be the photographer who doctors the prints,
paints grins on all the faces, sardonic as a Hogarth print,
as the cartoons illustrating the New York Review of Books;
or some PR official, someone somewheres in the middle
of the totem pole, who has been assigned the task,
and has been required to put up the good face,
even with this prospect of a really-bad-day.

Sorry. Thought Edwards was a pretty decent person. Just reacted to his SE grin (with his wife at his side) in the NY Times