We must be careful what we say;
You never know what people may
Consider wrong or incorrect
And then repeat with ill effect.
While speaking, unbeknownst to me
I could offend unwittingly
Or give someone with evil bent
Encouragement in their intent.
Corona virus permeates
the air we breathe and satiates
The minds of those who write the news
And warn us, all we have to lose.
We all must learn to wear a mask;
It seems it's not too great a task;
But then, I think, I can't recall
When no one wore a mask at all.
I think what we have always done
Most every place beneath the sun
Is wear our mask for all to see
So we can all pretend to be....
Whatever people want to see
When they consider you and me.
The problem is, for me, I see
A smidgen of hypocrisy.
A mask, which helps us to be safe,
Is worthy of the poorest waif.
But all the other masks we don
Are costume balls -- a social con.
And what can we conceivably
Expect from this chicanery?
If fakery is what we sow,
What will we reap -- do we not know?
What if we only wore a mask
To help accomplish this, our task,
To keep each other virus free;
We'd both be safe then, you and me.
But as for any other mask,
Let's lose them all, "But why, you ask;"
"Facades and pretexts, false pretense
Serve no good purpose, make no sense;"
"They all add up to nothing more
Then smoke and mirrors -- what a bore;
For every space that we create
Does nothing more than separate...."
"Each one of us, from everyone.
Is that what really must be done?
To choose to always be alone?
Is this relationship or clone?"
Can we not form or calculate
A better plan in this debate?
Or must we hide behind a wall
Of subterfuge, a pointless call.
A front, facade, a ruse or sham
Divaricates us from "I Am."
And that's the dumbest freakin' plan
Since time memorial began!
Instead, reach out, embrace the good
We all can find where saints have stood.
Discard the mask; seek out a friend;
Your benefits will never end!
This poem was a finalist in the April 2020 poetry contest