The Mask by Victoria Sullivan

Poem #6 by Lorenzo Dozier

You can check out a video of the author reading this poem over on the Unchained Media Scotland Facebook Page by clicking here.

I wear a mask, as it protects
From germs of those who’re ill
I wear a mask, so can’t transmit
The virus that can kill

I wear a mask – my customs
And my faith tell me I must
A mask that shows you my beliefs
And ways, in which I trust

I wear a mask because I hide
My true identity
I disappear into the crowds
And nobody sees me

I wear a mask to hide my pain
Emotions never show
Am I happy, am I sad?
I hide, so you don’t know

When everyone around is
Wearing masks as a disguise
How can I trust when
I can only see your eyes?

I wear a mask because my job
Entails each day I risk my life
To treat the sick and dying
Someone’s husband, someone’s wife

I wear a mask and I’m afraid
Each time I put it on
Tomorrow will there be more masks
Or will they all be gone?

Behind my mask, I see
The sad ignorance of youth
And world leaders telling barefaced lies
Anything to mask the truth.


About the Author

I was born in Dundee but emigrated to South Africa in my childhood. I’d have to say my upbringing there had a lot of input into my views on how inequalities need to be set right now. I always had a passion for writing but never did anything about it until I did an Open University degree (while working and being a single parent). I wrote a lot of poetry at that time as well as some short stories and plays. A few poems were featured in anthologies and I had some success in a local competition with another. My poems were fuelled by sadness or hurt and when life got happier and I met someone and got married the need to write kind of hibernated. Until COVID came along. I work for the NHS, I am part of my health board’s headquarters in the Chief executive’s department and had the both frightening and fascinating privilege of being privy to all the decisions being made and ways the board was handling the insane situation we found ourselves in. So I wrote, and wrote and wrote. I’ve now written 7 lockdown poems (plus another one written tonight). These led to a few more commissioned poems for funerals, businesses and family. It’s been a tough time and I feel pretty emotional much of the time so it was a good way to vent that. I’m amazed with how well they’ve done and very pleased people find them as touching as I do when I write them.


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