When I put on a mask

When I put on a mask,
I put on two masks. 
The invisible mask hides
(or attempts to)
the constant pain and fatigue and and and 
that has made up my life for – oh – half a lifetime now; 
helps others to cope 
with what I live with,
whilst I smile, smile. 
The pretty mask, 
– the home-made one with long-loved fabric – hides
(or attempts to)
something of the fear of stepping out
into the now-unknown; 
(or attempts to)
this fragile body from further assault.  
Two masks. 
Two lives.

Sarah M is a freelance writer & editor.