Masked, by Helen Shaw

I pull my scarf over my face and mouth as the crowd pass,

a young teenager mocks,

and coughs loudly, laughing.

I don’t blame her,

we all look alien,

hiding in daylight.


I want to tell her I was once young,

and believed the old to be a parody of life,

so trapped within and without.

I want to tell her that we’re not afraid to die,

just we have grown fond of light,

of days of sun stroked skin,

of nights of star filled skies,

of being in this enchanted place.


We see the world through filters,

layers we reluctantly peel off,

and rarely show ourselves

truly to another.

Grief strips us bare,

loss denudes us,

we are unmade by sorrow

and in those moments,

of shattering clarity,

we can be known.


I want to tell her to breathe deep,

to inhale the world,

 to fill her lungs with lust, with love,

 with longing, and adore

this flawed and ultimately fatal place.

I want to tell her that I mask my face because I do.

But she is gone,

and I am silent.


Helen Shaw is a writer, content producer and sometimes gardener.
Helen Shaw has two other poems on  The Cave Dwellers, and Waiting For The Numbers.

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