MASKS I had to wear a mask To protect me from you The fear of someone seeing Me imperfect, as I was, Frightened me You wore a mask, too, For what reasons I Could not tell but Most likely similar Pain or sorrow With time, I learned To believe in myself That I could brave others Knowing I was not Perfection or even close People saw me for Who I was and did not Run away or tell me To put the mask back on They just saw me And you removed Your mask as well Taking your chance With life and love and Learning to trust Now we all have to wear masks To protect others from us The world cannot risk A contagion we carry The sickness of our times Some day we will not Need to wear these masks And will see each other For who and what we are Tomorrow. Soon. Please.
I have lived in Vallejo for 20 years and participate regularly in the Benicia Outlaws Writing Group. I’m not known as a poet, mostly as a historical fiction writer (mainly LGBTQ) and host of Queer Words Podcast, conversations with queer-identified authors about their works and lives (www.queerwords.org). Your recent request for poetry during these challenging times made me think about submitting this, something I just wrote yesterday.
Bio: Wayne Goodman has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of his life (with too many cats). Goodman hosts Queer Words Podcast, conversations with queer-identified authors about their works and lives. When not writing or recording, he enjoys playing Gilded Age parlor music on the piano, with an emphasis on women, gay, and Black composers.