Poetry

This Mask

Triston Smith, MD, FSCAI*

Triston Smith, MD, FSCAI*

This mask that I’m compelled to wear

To help contain the spread

This mask tries to suppress my smile

Conjure images of fear and dread

This mask that seeks to block my face

My expressions stifle, deride

This mask attempts to steal my joy

Break my spirit, crush my pride

This mask that I’m compelled to wear

On my face new lines it draws

This mask wants me to hesitate

To stop, to falter, to pause

This mask that I’m obliged to wear

Think it’s gotten the better of me

This mask doesn’t know by covering my face

It unmasks the things eyes can’t see

This mask unmasks my strength within

To face each battle refreshed

This mask unmasks my will to fight

Provides grit to withstand this test

This mask unmasks my gentler self

As my mortality I’m forced to see

This mask unmasks a sea of compassion

That’s been bottled inside of me

This mask unmasks deep friendships

Revealed allies I didn’t know exist

This mask unveils our will to unite

Confront challenges together, resist

This mask unmasks what we all knew

But took this moment to reveal

This mask unveils our humanity

The outpouring of love we now feel

So give me that mask, doesn’t matter which kind

I’ll wear them all with pride

What this mask has unmasked of me

Are qualities that never should hide

I’ll wear this mask from dawn till dusk

If needed a few hours more

This mask can’t get the better of me 

Because I’m the one keeping score

*Read more from Triston Smith, MD:

Smith T. Cath lab spotlight: Wheeling Hospital. Cath Lab Digest. 2020 May; 28(5): 1, 28-34. Available online at https://tinyurl.com/WheelingCLD. Accessed May 26, 2020.

Triston Smith, MD, FSCAI, can be contacted at smith_triston@yahoo.com, and is on Twitter @tristonsmithmd