Masks

at writing201, we were given the challenge of writing about heroes or heroines, and also challenged to write ballads. I started off by thinking about how superheroes are often portrayed as wearing masks…and then I thought of masks in a much different way, and therefore my ballad has nothing to do with heroes at all.

each day when he went out he wore
a mask upon his face
in order that the ones he saw
would see not his disgrace

not plastic nor of fabric made
that mask he daily wore
a simple smile was his disguise
that hid that he was sore

oh how he longed to peel that mask
displaying his true self
but day by day he couldn’t bear
to leave it on the shelf

when asked by friends, “how do you do?”
“I’m fine! And you?” he’d say
and with a hidden tear he’d turn
and simply walk away

perhaps he could have had the strength
as he did all his tasks
to take it off, if he just knew
that everyone wears masks

some masks are worn to hide our pain
and others mask our fears
or issues such as mental health
we’ve worn these masks for years

when asking friends, “how do you do?”
don’t settle for “I’m fine!”
but take your mask off of your face
reveal each wrinkled line

perhaps if your true self you share
your friends won’t have to fear
to drop their masks, be really real
whenever you are near.

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