absent humanity

We plunder for pockets of warmth
in a frigid winter
while ignoring the most
vulnerable
Who stamp their feet
not to feel warmth
but to be heard
And still they remain
invisible
to us who have shut our eyes
Because we get goosebumps
when walking from our cars
to the mall
No spare time to spare
change
for the world, create
change
for your neighbour.

To have Christian values
is enough
And to talk about the weather
is enough
And to rub our own hands
together
is enough
To create the warmth we need
Others may burn or freeze
But we are the good and
faithful
Like witches who smoldered at
the stake
If they are innocent they will
be rewarded
In the ether.

They have enough
Because we have enough
and because they are
invisible to us
especially in a frigid
winter.

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Masquerade

Lying beside my friend
I glanced sideways at her
and I said,
“I want to kill myself,”
the first time I said it out loud.

Her cheeks flushed,
embarrassed that I had uttered
the unutterable phrase and
determined that she
should not agree
with what I had to say.

“Everyone wears a mask,
I’m tired of them hiding,
I’m tired of hiding,
and I’m taking mine off
now.”

Her mouth opened to reply
to my bizarre, out of the blue
statement; her parted lips
spoke softly, soothingly,
devilishly calm:

“I guess I should also remove
the mask I have been wearing.
I don’t know how I’ve tolerated
your antics and dramatics
for this long.

“You telling me this, comes as
no surprise.
The look in your eyes
says you were not expecting
me also to have a disguise.
But do you see my face now?”

I did see it, but I made no sound,
rather, I began looking all around
searching for her discarded disguise
looking for the place
from which she drew her lies.

How long had we held this façade?
I wanted more than ever
to drain my own life flow
for this madness to be over
and never again to know
how it feels to be led astray.

While my lips frowned, hers smiled
with a kind of indescribable glee.
“I see I’ve caused you pain,
you silly selfish girl – for all
along you’ve seen yourself
but have you ever looked for me?

“You assumed I’d never wear a mask –
you assumed the best.
Your assumption, should it waver,
You still held in trust.
Do you not wonder if I am hurt
by your dishonesty also?”

I hadn’t.