Behind the Mask

Half my face is covered. You see
Not the best of me
If you even look closely
To discover what’s behind the mask

My eyes might not show fear
Still you don’t draw near
No one leans in to hear
What’s going on behind the mask

Is that a glare?
Or only a stare?
Some people don’t care
If you keep it behind the mask

Can you see my smile
When you walk up my aisle?
Stop and talk awhile
Instead of hiding behind the mask.

There’s more to me
No matter what you see
I’m happy to let you be
Feeling safe behind the mask.

Some say they don’t get enough air
Breathing is hard back there
And they have no germs to share
Struggling behind the mask

She gives the critical eye
He shoves to just get by
Others keep wondering why
COVID spreads behind the mask

Experts no longer agree
What is best for me
But I can hear their plea
My ears aren’t behind the mask.

**This isn’t a statement about whether I think we should or should not wear masks. The governor of Oregon has asked everyone to wear masks in public spaces, and I willingly comply. However, it feels strange to only see some of people and I notice I’m avoiding eye contact more. Will I recognize my friends behind their masks?


3 thoughts on “Behind the Mask”

  1. I feel like wearing a mask is a bit like wearing sunglasses – it doesn’t affect one’s ability to ‘read’ others so it’s easy to forget that it affects their ability to ‘read’ one in return.

    COVID-19 has caused disruption in human interactions all over the place! E.g. having to greet people from a distance instead of shaking hands or muah-muah or what have you; or not being able to ‘read’ people’s body language on Zoom etc.

    But we humans are resilient and adaptive and we find ways to keep being human no matter what. Maybe now is the moment for my suggestion of signal flags as a form of interpersonal communication! (https://deborah.makarios.nz/why-we-need-signal-flags-in-everyday-life/) 😀

    1. Deborah-
      Great analogy with the sunglasses.

      It is difficult to translate the disconnect I feel when everyone is masked. We don’t meet each other’s eyes as much, and everyone is so afraid to interact, life feels like an isolation chamber even when you’re in public. I find myself smiling like always and then realizing it doesn’t matter because no one can see or be cheered by what always served as my “positive vibe” to the world.

      Living in the Twilight Zone is getting old…and appears not to be a temporary condition.

      1. I suspect a smile can still be seen around your eyes – unless of course you’re wearing sunglasses, which I guess you might well be, given it’s summer where you are. Hmm… Maybe this is your chance to surreptitiously go around blessing everyone without getting caught 🙂

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