Who am I when I’m alone

When the masks are laid down 

all but one

My face longing to feel a kiss of the sunsetting breeze  

My fingers tremble

Heart pounds

Faded memories of freedom flashing

I lift the edge—


Footsteps come 


Frantic scurry 

Each mask

With practiced hand

In proper place


A gentle touch rest against my shoulder 

A soft gaze looks to find me

The warmth breaking through

Revealing bit by bit

As each mask crumbles

Fear pierces 

Tears flooding

I dared to look into the face 

There was no pity there


With all but one stripped away 

Fingers crawl to the edges



Who I am