The idea for this short poem came to me while running errands. I saw two little girls playing in front of a bank. They were playing with the door. When I saw a large man exit the bank, saw the girl closest to the door startle, I was worried he was going to yell at them.

For obvious reasons, I am naturally very protective of children (and other people I perceive as more vulnerable than I am). My mind immediately came up with a strategy to protect them if necessary.

Fortunately, he didn’t do or say anything and we all went on our merry way.

It was a good reminder for me that even though I have learned to be very in touch with my emotions, I still have the capability to turn them off. A part of me even wants to. It’s a scary place to be.



Some days I am afraid

That my humanity

My kindness

My compassion

Are the masks I wear.

I can place my fingers under my jaw and

Peel back my skin

Underneath it there is a void

Nothing human



Just this vast emptiness

Standing in opposition

To any human feeling.


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