when the masks come off

When the masks come off


When the masks come off, what will we see,

A spitting rage or smile of empathy?

Who will we be, will our eyes at last see free

Or will we blindly stumble, lead by lies on our tv

Away from our best to a broken rumble, a grumble

At how things are, compared with how they used to be.


Hands scrubbed clean, Face, rarely fully seen,

Space demanded, in case of infection, deflection

Of broken promises, banning risk free intimacy.

When we’ve walked the aisles and pavement streets,

Will we find the one way forward… with community?

Or withdraw to individual fear and emnity?

When we clear our throats and start to breathe

Our lungs set clear without the need

For ventilator, inhaler, the failure

Of all our measures which made us cough

Our past lives off and wheeze in fear.

Will we shed a tear for those now gone?

Or breathe a sigh of relief, and abandon

The straps of constraint and pledge to live

Life full on, to cling on more tightly.

Our nails bitten down to the quick,

Candles burnt, leaving only charred wick,

Society’s sick and bridges burned, but turn

Back to hope and start loving, not fighting.

After Brexit, Brexit tears and broken Remoaner,

Now we’re all breathing bitter taste of Corona.

Our fears, mistrust and deep anxiety,

Well stoked, will keep on igniting,

Turning green shoots to dust and exciting

Hope to ashen marks of penance. 


But the roots

And stump can grow again, with nurtured care.

We must rebuild the connection, our natural selection

Will lift those who share, who carry the loads of others

And show in every smile, every loving eye that we are

All together, can always spare a hug, a handshake, some time…


Whether or not we have seen eye to eye in these debates

Our fates are tethered and we must move away from hate.

In fact we will only radiate, only fully shine

By many tiny candles lit together, cupped in palm

We can relight the world, reduce the harm;

Not to our bodies, to the inner light which shines,

Not in our bones, but in our minds.

◄ Age

She ►


Profile image

keith jeffries

Sun 5th Dec 2021 21:25

There is a lot to digest from this poem but I am attracted to it as a number of poems which I have recently read, including my own, show the incipient signs of a much needed change in our society. There is a good deal of anger about which readily finds willing hands to exploit. Something is afoot and my hope is that we can move forward, bring about change and do so in a fraternal spirit of cooperation.
Thank you for what is a very important poem

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message