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The Mask

image of comedy-tragedy masks

Recently I attended a dinner in Sydney. It was a sports awards dinner and I am President of NSW Squash. The board had as their guest the CEO of Lifeline, a well known charity that provides support and counselling for people struggling with life. For some reason the conversation turned to the arts and mentioned I write poetry. She asked me to recite some and apparently enjoyed what was offered.

She mentioned that it struck her that so many people seem to live their lives behind a mask and she asked me to write a poem entitled “The Mask.” Following is the result. I hope you enjoy.


The Mask

“What is that?” I hear you say,
as if you didn’t know.
It’s with me every waking step,
everywhere I go.

It keeps me free from other’s gaze,
shelters me from harm.
With it’s help I solve the maze,
no panic, only calm.

Yet wearing it, I live a lie,
my certainty it shatters.
If you believe that honesty
is all that really matters.

To be myself is what I need,
my fear takes me to task.
Why can’t I simply be as me,
and live without my mask?

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