Living in the USA, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and working in the fields of Peace-building, Conflict Transformation, Restorative Justice, Trauma Informed Approaches, and Development has ... [+]

Image of Short Fiction Contest - 2020
Image of Poetry

Discomfort, distress, disquiet, dismay

Simply from wearing a mask all day.

What is it that triggers such rabid response?


Is it the essence of all hidden under?

The façade that conceals all that lies beneath

Creating a sameness and likely deceit?

Are veiled lips contorting with sneers and disdain?

Or smiling with hope, or simpering in pain?

Does judgement dwell behind the curtain?

Absence of mask telling for certain

The lack of aptitude, instruction, and care.

Of this type all must beware

Lest death may come?


Is it the reflection from which we hide?

The cover that shields except for the eyes,

Eyes of those otherwise simply despised

Hindering efforts to distance, to detach, to divide?

Expressive eyes with so much to say

Mirroring doubts best locked away.

Vulnerable eyes of discomfort and tears,

Of annoyance, irritation, exasperation, and fear

In which we find ourselves one?