June 13, 2019

Each mask hides another,

Veil on tearstained veil.

Each tattered page of my heart,

Inked and stamped and sealed

In the shadows of my mind.


I wrote myself a fantasy,

Bound my heart in steel.

The bleeding aches I turned to scars,

My dreams to sweat and tears.

I formed and chiseled and polished

And pounded out my soul

Until my reflection stared back

Like a heroine of old.


I stood before the tarnished mirror

Of all I ought to be.

A little better than my best,

Swifter here,

More caring there.

Let the world crumble at my feet;

My foundation lay within my soul,

Where no hand could touch.


The reflection grew dim,

The masks ached and chafed,

And one by one I let them fall

Until only I stood

Unarmed, unarmored,

The heroine who needed nothing else.


The aches still throbbed and pulsed

From some deeper, darker place.

Fissures spread across my frame,

Across the mirror.

I grasped and clutched the shards

Of who I thought I was.

But the heroine joined the masks,

In choking, blinding ash.


And in the cracking mirror, I saw


A trembling and lonely child

Stained with the dust of dreams.

Not quite as much as I’d always thought,

Less than all I’d tried to build.

All my efforts shattered

In glass about my feet.


I sank into the ruins of my best

As day drifted into dusk.

No safety, no point, no reason to try,

Only wild, chartless wilderness

And footsteps,

A shadow where my reflection once stood.

Another crouches in the dust;

His tears reflect my own.


He holds out a hand.

“I can be enough.”


  1. Brink

    Great poem!

    • Hope Ann


    • Hope Ann

      *grins* glad you like it.

  2. Cindy Green

    One of my favourites that you’ve ever written.

    • Hope Ann

      *bows* thank you.

  3. Buddy J.

    *nods* I don’t know what my words are in response.

    • Hope Ann

      Apparently… those words. XD

  4. Emily C.

    I relate to this so much… This is beautiful. 🙂

    • Hope Ann

      *bows* I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Shannon Voeller

    Wow this is so awesome Hope! I love these images so much!

    • Hope Ann

      Thanks. I really enjoyed writing this one.

  6. storyjoy

    WOW and OUCH I relate too much. This is awesome.

    • Hope Ann

      *grins* Thanks

  7. Isabelle

    I love this! So beautiful!

    • Hope Ann

      *bows* thank you

  8. Onika

    This poem creates a very distinct image. It turns the descriptions of physical pain into an analogy for emotional/identity pain, which is also a useful technique when describing a character’s personal agony.
    Eagerly waiting for the next one!

    • Hope Ann

      *blinks* I… have to write another one?

  9. Holly Anne

    Love this one Hope!!! Are you going to write another one? 😉

    • Hope Ann

      Eh… not sure. XD I have other poems. Not sure if/when I’ll do another mask one though.

  10. Leon Fleming

    This was a great poem and I shall try not to be too cliche in my comment. (True, it was a while ago, but I’ve just read it.)

    I must say, this was done with great imagery in the physical sense wherewith you took the feelings and emotions and turned them into descriptively physical pain. Very well. I think the idea for your mask poems is great and you should (truly) write more.

    This was an actual experience for you? You took your feelings and moulded them unto the page, yes? Very interesting, very descriptive. I liked it a lot.

    My favourite stanza was the sixth where you were brought out into the open the truth of who you really were.

    • Hope Ann

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it. And yeah. My best poems tend to come when I’m actually feeling the thing I’m trying to write about. Or rather… that is when I sit down and actually write them.

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