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Home Is Where The Mask Comes Off

by Aiden Graham Cole 26 days ago in social commentary

A poem about the catharsis of coming back home.

Photo by Kyle Austin on Unsplash

Home is where the mask comes off.

Where evening birdsong and distant train horns mingle as I take my first deep breath of the day,

30 minutes from the city,

free from the sweet, lingering burn of the sugar-beet factory I pass by on my way to school.

Where my expression goes blank as I plod up the stairs,

Cheeks aching from frozen, cartoon glee throughout the day—

wide enough to notice through the fabric.

Home is where the mask comes off,

Where pretenses and exaggerated personalities die as I enter the doorway,

and layers of my self shed to the linoleum;

Checkered coat and socks atop polite restraint,

(but underneath feigned curiosity)

Settled in a heap I leave in the threshold til morning.

Home is where the mask comes off,

Where shame and fear fade with sunset and disappear behind the trees,

And moths descend in droves around the outside stair light,

Dancing together in a dazed, choreographed trance in the dimness,

And I am never too much, but always enough.

Home is where the mask comes off.

Where the virus doesn’t exist and smiles are seen in all their subtlest ways,

Where accidental coughs and sneezes are given tissues instead of six feet,

Where “myself” is the only person I’m ever supposed to be,

And the rest of the world is just a figment of my imagination.

social commentary

Aiden Graham Cole

From writer during childhood to artist as I've aged.

I'm passionate about using both in my storytelling.

Sometimes I illustrate my stories here; check out more at @aidengrahamcole on Instagram

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Aiden Graham Cole
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