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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Sustainable Prospects – Melisa Bernards

“Behind The Mask

Hiding the hurt, hiding the pain Hiding the tears that fall like rain. Saying I’m fine, when I’m anything but. This ache in my soul rips at my gut. My skin is on fire, I burn from within. The calm on my face is an ongoing sin. The world must stay out, I’ve built up a wall. My fragile lie will collapse should it ever fall. Loneliness consumes me, it eats away the years Until my life is swallowed by unending fears. Waiting for someone to see I wear a mask And care enough to remove it, is that too much to ask?”

– Melisa Bernards (Melisa Bernards – Yep, that’s me., 2017)

I recently came across this poem when researching masks for my current project.  The poem gives me shivers. It speaks of hiding behind a mask and putting on a show for others.  The poem is about not being ourselves. We act how others expect us to; we are who others want us to be. We are not ourselves. Every day we pretend to be ok; we want to keep those around us happy.  Inside we suffer alone.

Our masks protect us. We live in a society where it is hard to be yourself. It is hard to show others how you truly feel. We fear rejection and isolation from those around us.

The peom concludes with the thought that each of us is waiting for the person who cares enough for us that they want to see behind our mask.

My project is exactly about this. I care about the people behind the masks and want to make sure that their stories are heard. This poem perfectly sums up the project.

This peom has been reproduced here with kind permission of the author.  You can find her blog HERE.


Melisa Bernards – Yep, that’s me. (2017). Melisa Bernards – Yep, that’s me.. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Oct. 2017].

#BehindtheMask #October2017 #TheMasksWeWear

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