Pandemic masks express little
of the wearer’s personality: floral,
funny, plain or heavy metal.

We focus on each other’s pupils
or look away, unsure if sparkles
are reflections of windowed souls.

Words and meanings muffled,
cloaked, and sometimes daggered waffle
to fill the spaces in between, mumbled

emotions captured in dissembled
etiquette. And how we long for smiles,
rows of teeth, and lips that unfurl like petals,

unmasked and welcoming, visible and near,
with words waiting to be spoken loud and clear.

Kim M. Russell, 3rd March 2021

212 Cheshire Cat Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

My response to Poets and Storytellers United Weekly Scribblings: Wait for It

This week for Weekly Scribblings, Rommy would like us to create new poetry or prose inspired by one (or all) of the following Hamilton quotes:

  1. “I’m looking for a mind at work.”
  2. “History has its eyes on you.”
  3. “Talk less. Smile more.”
  4. “Dying is easy, young man. Living is harder.”
  5. “Love doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints.”

I’m not overly keen on musicals, have never seen ‘Hamilton’, and don’t have a clue to what it’s about, so I am going at this with no preconceptions. I chose “Talk less. Smile more”.

29 thoughts on “Unmasked

  1. Ah yes we long for those smiles, but even with the vaccines on tow, we will still be waiting a while before the masks are taken off . Nice one Kim

    Thanks for dropping by to read mine


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am very ignorant about ‘Hamilton’ also – but I do like the line you chose, and even more I like the spin you put on it. Where I live we have not yet had any COVID cases, and in most circumstances are not required to wear masks. It’s different in the cities, of course. I imagine one becomes used to the surreal … while at the same time longing to go back to pre-pandemic ways of being.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I figured a fair amount of folks wouldn’t be all that familiar with the musical and that’s fine! I really wanted to see what others would make of some of these lines out of context and you did a great job. In my household, we do favor masks that tell a little something about us. Video game characters, superheroes–I have a couple with kitsune on them. But as cute as mine are, I do look forward to relegating them to infrequent use and hope I’ll be able to do a little less muffled talking, if not this year, maybe by the time I turn 50.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. YES!!! Waiting for the words being spoken loud and clear, not muffled and blurred; waiting for the smile that shows the whole face; waiting for human touch!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. YES!!! Waiting for the words being spoken loud and clear, not muffled and blurred; waiting for the smile that shows the whole face; waiting for human touch!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t seen Hamilton either. I did ask my son the context of “Talk less. Smile more.” and he went into a long explanation! I told him to stop, I didn’t need all that!
    Talking to someone with a mask must be hard for those who are uncomfortable with eye contact. I know a man who has problems if he can’t “read” faces.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anyone in the autistic spectrum would have problems. I’m slightly dead and need to see people’s lips, especially if there is any background noise.


  7. Before the pandemic I never realized how much I read facial expressions and even lips. With a mask on people tend to mumble a bit making it even harder.

    I too miss smiling faces. Great write Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love it Kim, this fits mask wearing perfectly. I look for smiles, masked or unmasked. I initiate a few more than the others begin but generally get the smile soon after. Perfect, what else can we do? Smile.

    Liked by 1 person

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