Joan Butler -- Pull The Other One

I can recognise a lie at forty paces.
I can feel it coming long before it comes.
I’m a better lie-detector than the local tax-inspector,
There’s a funny sort of pricking in my thumbs.
Am I blessed with extra-sensory perception
Or just sceptical of blandishment and charm?
Is this bell that starts to ring an inherent kind of thing
Like an atavistic predator-alarm?

It’s the overstated candour in their faces,
The exaggerated brightness of the eyes;
There are one or two equations I reserve for these occasions,
Such as: Chardonnay + Roses = Lies.
There are whoppers told at funerals and weddings
And in every glossy women’s magazine;
And when porky pies are cooking, though I may be cabbage-looking
There is one thing I am NOT and that is green.

If I’m locked in someone’s passionate embraces
And the vows of love eternal start to flow,
That’s the moment when it palls. I’ll be heard to mutter, “Balls!”
Or a similarly apposite bon mot.
Yet there has to be one weakness in my armour,
Just one fiction that I fall for more than most;
It’s an outrage. It’s a crime. I believe it every time
When they tell me that my cheque is in the post.

Joan Butler