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Mask

by J. R. Lowe about a year ago in social commentary
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A poem on men's mental health in the midst of a pandemic and the social isolation which comes with staying home

Mask
Photo by Mark König on Unsplash

I took a breath of relief and sighed,

When the world became restricted.

For the mask which covered my absent smile,

Meant I could be myself outside,

Without fear of being convicted.

.

It’s only within these lonely walls,

That the mask shall ever slip,

And expose the grief below the fabric;

Lips that scarcely smile at all,

Because I’m holding on with weakened grip.

.

There is a silence here now that lingers in the absence of what once was;

Another day of remaining unheard,

And responding to loved ones who dare ask,

How I’m feeling with a lie because,

To talk about it feels absurd.

.

I long for home all day,

Although the world has grown to despise it.

Being locked down is a curse for some,

But for me it’s a dream come true I say,

For I can bathe in melancholy without having to disguise it.

.

When I’m socially distant,

I’m no longer trapped by the public’s notion

That a man who feels,

Is non-existent,

Because men don’t feel emotion,

.

When I walk through these doors,

I know that I am free,

To relax my façade,

Remove the mask that hides my flaws,

And alas let me be me.

Author's Note: While men's mental health has become less and less stigmatised over the years, suicide is still the second most common cause of death in men in the USA, surpassed only by accidental injuries. In the midst of a pandemic, and the social isolation which has come with it, the dramatic burden of mental health issues has only grown stronger. It's crucial now, more than ever, that we reach out to each other and stay connected, even when forced to remain physically distant. One phone call, text or message can make all the difference.

social commentary

About the author

J. R. Lowe

I confess, I don't exactly have a specific topic or writing style, or an organised train of thought for that matter. On the plus side, that means there's probably something here everyone ;)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/J0SHwrites

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