A leper, I walk day after day,
Misguided glances staring my way.
It’s protection. How I cannot see
Who is it protecting? You or me?
I want to cry, my path is long
To avoid the looks from the throng.
I long to tear this gauze and strings,
But the doctor’s voice still rings.
“You’re ill, susceptible to germs.”
One looks to me as poisonous worms.
“It might be contagious, we cannot be sure.”
A child sidles away. I can’t take much more.
I ask if it’s worth it,
this leprous life?
When every glance
is filled with strife?
To go home would be worse,
like an unquenchable thirst.
To see my love fuss
just to avoid my touch.
It’s protection. That’s what I’m told.
What life is there, just to grow old?
No one to hug, touch, hold, just see.
Who is this mask protecting? You or me?