Everyone wore masks this particular day, some sparkled, and some were dull and gray. But there was one man who went maskless – this man I saw on the street corner. His face was normal as could be: a thin nose, bushy eyebrows, full lips, and ruddy, plump cheeks.
He stood there, beckoning me to come forward amid the masked people walking to and fro. “Did you know,” he started, “that I wear a mask, as well?”
I don’t mind wearing a mask, do you?
It’s a symbol of safety, respect for others
our brothers + sisters living in this crazy world
boys + girls just wanting peace
something to eat
shelter from the storm
born in this age of COVID + conflict –
we rest in our bubbles, away from the troubles
I smile at you behind my mask
you see my eyes bright, hopeful
you know I love you.
(Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash)
Dark clouds gather + block a stifling sun, breaking the heat
of oppressive summer days – we’re in a daze, at a standstill,
shops closed + mask-wearing maniacs stashing cash
under dirty mattresses in case of economic collapse –
What terror hides behind manicured grass
and lush flower beds? Outside the office complex,
the manager scolds us for cigarette smoking.
Months later, his cold stare is in a newspaper for
unspeakable crime. Am I too naïve to think the masks
we wear are true windows into our souls?
(Photo by John Noonan on Unsplash)