A Mask

A Mask

 

Unlike the people of today

I have always worn a mask

Not to protect myself from a plague

But to prevent a too closer scrutiny of who I am

My mask is not detachable or disposable

It is a part of the identity I conceal

Most of the time I am not concious of it

I have grown accustomed to its cover

People are still able to recognise me

My mask is to hide my inner self

Not to fend off some virulent pestilence

My mask was given to me sixty three years ago

I am eternally grateful for its help

I shall continue to wear it until death

It has concealed my sexuality satisfactorily

I only take it off for those I know who love me

And when I do they exclaim

Now we see the real you

My mask is no longer necessary

But I still wear it all the same

It has saved my life from violence

Kept me from being evicted

Or losing my job

My mask has helped me to retain my integrity

and my human dignity

◄ Aleppo

An Outlook ►

Comments

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kJ Walker

Tue 20th Apr 2021 19:30

Keith.
It's such a shame that you had to feel that way. Everyone should be allowed to be exactly who they are.
Fortunately things are better now, though prejudices do still exist.
Best wishes... I hope you are well.

Cheers Kevin

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keith jeffries

Mon 19th Apr 2021 20:42

Thank you to Ferris, Your Royal Princess, Stephen G., MC., and JD Bardo for your comments. Also thank you to those who gave 'likes' Adam, Aisha, Aviva and Holden. Your words are kind and encouraging.

The poem focused on a period in my life which was a good 40 or 50 years ago when sexuality was not accepted as it is today. Many were sent to prison for this 'crime' and the mask was necessary. I was never evicted but lost a good job because of being gay and on one occasion was stoned by a group of youths who shouted queer.

Thank you again.

Keith

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Ferris Ty Taylor

Mon 19th Apr 2021 13:10

Another incredibly sad but beautiful piece Keith. The idea of you being evicted cos of who you love is nothing short of hellish and I'm so sorry you went through it. Thanks for sharing.

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Your Royal Poetess

Sun 18th Apr 2021 23:31

You shouldn’t have to wear a mask or disguise yourself! But a beautiful poem as per usual, be unapologetically you always 😊

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Stephen Gospage

Sun 18th Apr 2021 17:57

A profound poem, Keith. A really good read.

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 17th Apr 2021 17:22

Throughout life we present different faces to the world, according to
circumstance or necessity. Why wave a red flag at a bull if you seek
to evade or avoid its animosity?

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J.D. Bardo

Sat 17th Apr 2021 12:08

Keith, I am happy that you wrote, and posted this poem. I have always felt the same way. I certainly can identify with these thoughts!!

Thank-you, J.D. (love it)

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