At Writer’s Island, we were asked to write about masquerades. My main masquerade is in life… or it was, until I sorted out some details.


Confident of every move
My stylus firmly in the groove
A smile that says I’ll take the dare
This is the mask I sometimes wear

My wit, a whetstone-sharped knife
I’m lit by fire, devouring life
Yet no one can detect the tear
that rends the mask I sometimes wear

Late to parties, the first to leave
I’m shiny slick with joie de vive
But if you look with special care
You’ll see right through the mask I wear

That’s my candle, both ends burning
Dripping molten, careless yearning
My frozen face, makeup and hair
Mask the wear and tear of le guerre

But once I’m home and all alone
There’s no façade, no great unknown
My crippling doubt I never share
In public, I’ve a mask to wear

They’ll never see the stripped-down me
used by him when I was three
That little girl can only bear
to live behind the mask I wear

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore, Sharp Little Pencil