An Ode to Life

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?



10 comments on “An Ode to Life

    • Thanks. I made the instant connection for the challenge because during my last visit to the Medical University of South Carolina a child wearing a surgical mask was brought onto the elevator. I wanted to cry for him.

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