Shadd Piehl -- "Masks"
A fifth-generation North Dakotan, Shadd Piehl’s poetry has appeared in the anthologies, Between Earth and Sky: Contemporary Cowboy Poets, Maverick Western Verse, Brushstrokes and Balladeers, and the magazines Aluminum Canoe, Pemmican, Red Weather, and Dry Crik Review, among others. A private investigator and adjunct English instructor, Shadd lives along Crown Butte Creek in the Heart River valley west of Mandan with his family.
Believe me it is much better to hide;
I only wear one to protect you from
What I may possess or what is inside,
My true self, my virus, what may become.
The need to conceal our identities
Should not be so easily dismissed.
Without our masks we would all be too free
To spread what we carry or what exists
Hidden within, much better to withhold
And not to share indiscriminately.
Beware those who claim a barefacedness:
I do not wear a mask, they say, not me!
What is truth anyway? It is all fake
News. A hype, a con, believe me, it’s great!
Poem copyright © 2020 Shadd Piehl