Reversed Masquerade | Teen Ink

Reversed Masquerade

March 24, 2021
By oggalio21 BRONZE, Clarkston, Michigan
oggalio21 BRONZE, Clarkston, Michigan
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

In the middle of the night an invitation to a masquerade ball 

arrives on March 13th, 2020 

awaiting your awakening from blissful slumber.

The parties not exclusive, everyone is required to attend

and await the suspense.

The end date as unwritten as a paper test, everyone must stay

and be a respectful guest. 

It’s the kind of party that’s a surprise,

jumping out at you when distracted 

invoking your fight or flight.

It’s the kind of unknown,

that’s like guessing what your mom will make for dinner.

Either your favorite meal 

or the crockpot awaiting your return home, 

glaring from the kitchen counter.  

When you entered the masquerade ball,  

the flashing lights lead into a spacious ballroom 

illuminated so harshly as if to showcase any flaw.

You find it humorous that the sea of guests 

are wearing backwards masks,

the lower half of their faces draped in various fabrics

replacing where a smile or scowl used to be front row.

The mask warns you to stay away like a cloth stop sign.

don’t get too close, stay in your place,

and wait and wait and wait some more.  

You thought masks were supposed to engulf the eyes 

only to cover identity, but now the masks cover up any expression.

The only ounce of emotion left resides in their eyes

the upturned or downturned corners 

a remaining luxury and disguise. 

It was as if you stepped into an alternate dimension

attending a masquerade ball in reverse. 

You observe the guests cautiously parting back and forth

standing on rows of X’s spaced 

what feels like a sea apart. 

The aura of euphoria starts to thaw, 

as the second beginning of March comes into light.

The bittersweet reminisce of a time

before we were required to wear a disguise.

The only masks plastered over us were our fake smiles 

or foundation as we wandered down the halls.

Unaware that our shallow world 

would become so deep that 

on March 13th, 2021

we are still struggling to breathe. 

The author's comments:

This poem is about the struggles of adjusting to this new way of living due to the pandemic we are going through.

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