I Wear A Mask



“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” ― Andre Berthiaume

Masks are a fascinating device. Slipping on a second skin, burying who you are under a false front, hiding under a gilded facade, etc.

I WEAR A MASK


I wear a mask, or three.
Or perhaps a dozen.
Maybe more.
I am afraid to take this one off.
But if I am forced, at least I have more.
Pretending is second nature to me now,
I am not even aware that I am doing it.

I give the impression
that I am calm, and cool,
in command.
But nothing could be further from truth.

I need no one.
Don’t believe me
I am OK
Don’t believe me.
It does not matter
Don’t believe me.

My surface seems smooth,
but remember the mask.
I panic at the thought of being exposed,
of the glance that see through the mist,
the look that sees truth.

Such a look is my only hope and I know it.

What else could release me?
Free me from the walls of this self-built prison,
the barriers that I so painstakingly erected?

It’s the only thing that can assure me
of what I cannot assure myself –
that I am worth something.

Of course, I will never tell you this.

So I play my game, my superficial game,
hiding the trembling child within.
I talk of everything that is really nothing,
and of nothing that is real.

Who am I, you ask?

I am every man you have ever met,
and every woman you have ever seen.

I am you, too.

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