Mask of My Humanity

heaved into a circle
taunting jury
pubescent lads
to engage a
slighter teen
there
a first time?
no
being big, tall
shy, damaged
everyone wants
a challenge
yet each time
rather cower
run
than raise bile, hate
lash out
step forward, then
in a flash
a painful crunch
hit earth
nose smashed
profusely bleeding
an embarrassed
friend
helps me up
shuffling home
vanquished again
again another
chisel to the stone
fashioning mask
the shards
cling at my back
weighing down
additional concealment
of me

 

then
then
decades later
prying off
the mask
it strikes me
violence avoided
was
my humanity
preferred
over my dignity

© 2011 DC Lessoway

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