The Mask, a poem written by Lynne Kemen at
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The Mask

The Mask

written by: Lynne Kemen



The mask reminds me of Halloween
except it’s not
those masks crackled and smelled of plastic

Some were of rubber and made me sweat
the material was clingy and, well rubbery
it felt like old skin and made me cringe

The old masks let me breathe through my nose and mouth
but these masks are different
they smother my nose and my mouth
they fog my glasses

Old or new, the elastic problem is the same
after 10 minutes my ears hurt and feel smashed to my skull,
my hair is snarled-it pulls at the roots of my hair

I crinkle my eyes at strangers to smile
but they simply stare at me and move away
we’re all afraid, more scared than on Halloween

It’s the Boogieman, the murderer who kills with a touch or a sneeze
I think about criminals, bandits, but this is no game of cops and robbers
-you be the killer-
-no you-

Tag with masks
-you’re it
– I quit

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

Lynne Kemen

Lynne Kemen

Lynne Kemen lives in the Great Western Catskills of Upstate New York. Her chapbook, More Than A Handful (Woodland Arts Editions) was published in October 2020. She has been published or has forthcoming poems in La Presa, Silver Birch Press, The Ravens Perch, Blue Mountain Review, Fresh Words Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Poetica Review. She is an Essay Editor at Blue Mountain Review in Atlanta Georgia, and she is on the Board of Bright Hill Press in Treadwell, NY.
Lynne Kemen

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