Mask Poem

Mask Poem by Sue Ellson and Art by Georgie Pinn ECHO OHCE

Mask Poem

By Sue Ellson

I wear a mask
That keeps me safe
It grins and clinches
Through every mistake


I wear a mask
That hides my fears
It battles on
Through invisible tears


I wear a mask
That ignores my doubts
It silences my voice
Through anxious callouts


I wear a mask
That refuses to see
It blocks my wisdom
Through delusional fantasy


But what if I could
Remove my mask
Could I conquer it all
And complete any task


Would I have the strength
To say yes or no
Could I bear the backlash
And find my flow


Would I look forward
Seeking harmony
Would I find a new way
To excel and truly be


Let me hold the mask
Let me become aware
Let me see its value
Let me start to dare


Let me move it a little
Let me disrupt its rhythm
Let me see underneath
Let me release its prison


Let light shine in
Let my power return
Let me take charge
Let it be my turn


To walk in truth
To speak with clarity
To hear with love
To see my reality


The life I live
Is mine to select
As the mask slowly fades
I can gradually redirect


Most weeks, I go for a walk and a chai tea with my neighbour. We usually talk about what has been going on in our lives and I was chatting about a conversation I had on the weekend with someone I had only met for the second time. As this person shared their story, I was reminded of different aspects of my personal journey and how often I had worn a mask to cover up how I had truly felt during various human interactions.

This is the beauty of growing older. We can look back and see how little we knew at the time and we have an opportunity to say to ourselves, from where I am now, I can see why you did that at that time. Sure, if I knew what I knew now back then, I may not have made the same choice. But as we age, we also want to share our learnings with others. So this is my poem for you and I hope it helps you see if you are wearing a mask sometimes and if you could find a way to help it slowly fade. With love, Sue Ellson 🙂

Photo is of Georgie Pinn’s ECHO/OHCE public storytelling installation that elevates the representation of everyday people that was at the Docklands in Melbourne on 19 August 2023 for the Now or Never Melbourne / Naarm Festival of art, ideas, sound and technology.

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