Mask by T-AlNajjar

What I would give to be young again
To be joyous and carefree again

Time has left me broken
I stand before you a shell of what I used to be
An eroded interior encapsulated by a dented exterior

With every passing day
The older me disappears
I can’t find her
I can’t smile like her
I forget who she was

The newer me is harsher
Has no room for innocence
It was wrung out by the hands of those who pretended to care
Decomposed by the continuous give give give until there was nothing left

The me that I knew is cracking
I can feel it wither
My smile goes first
One that was once genuine
Only laugh lines remain
A daunting, haunting memory

Realisations dawn on me like bullets piercing through my being
We get older
We become wiser
We grow bolder
There’s much more we need to shoulder
We meet borders
We crumble, we shudder
We become fodder

I mustn’t let them see
Can’t let them know that I know the truth
Their hidden agendas become clearer everyday

So I put it on
Be a part of their charade
Hide among them
Till one day
I can strip it clear off
And have what was imposed on me
Be my salvation

The mask of conforming
The mask of normalcy
The mask of contrite adult
The mask of fitting in
The mask of being taken for granted

Layer after layer
I strip them off
One by one

And all that remains
Is the most me that I could ever hope to be
My raw me
My true me


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