Masks, 6/15/2016, Deon Mumple
He shit and showered, shaved and dressed,
Put on his suit to look his best,
The mask complete, he stepped outside the door.
His family might be impressed,
The boss would pretend, hand off stress,
He always did, and paid himself some more.
Turned up music louder, singers
To spite others’ concealed stingers
Pretending poorly to care on their way
He smiled and waved with five fingers
Nice, though foolish traffic lingers.
They made him late for work again, today.
He was an ordinary guy
Who tried and failed and wondered why
Life was so hard to win, easy to fail.
The outside man would always try
The inside man wanted to cry
When fallen, bruised and bleeding on life’s trail
He hurt inside, no one could tell,
Hiding, masking his private hell,
Disguised: husband, worker, church-going man.
Hidden inside, life bruised him well
His face, a smiling prison cell,
Reality was not his biggest fan
Nor did he like it very much
The mask he wore was just a crutch
To conceal all life’s cruelty and crime
His longing heart wished to be touched
With true love, if there could be such
A wish, granted by twists of fate and time
Would she be there, keeping her vow?
After so long, he wondered how
To broach the topic of marital bliss.
Their habits had changed, then from now,
From inner smiles, now to scowls,
From opportunities now lost, and missed.
He loved her still despite the wreck
He’d made, now everything was dreck,
But he decided to give one last try,
Haunted, loving her curves, her neck,
Her eyes, deep green, with brownish flecks,
Her laughter, just like birdsongs in the sky…
So after work he drove over
Still feeling everything for her
With flowers, fearful courage, et bon coeur
The sting of parting seemed bitter
Would he find love, or harsh anger?
Fingers trembling in hope, he rang the door.