the darkness under the mask


The Rattling Bones: “[Sunday’s] prompt will be an inspirational quote. Use the quote to create a poem, journal entry, short story or even an art piece, maybe take a photograph… let your imagination soar!”

the darkness under the mask

A dying wish; a last request,

“Bring the family together.”

She was the one least suited.

The one most bitter.

She could not yet forgive.

She knew the darkness

under his mask of

charm, wit, smoothness.

But she was the one who waited

outside the prison gate.

At first she didn’t see

that it was him.

Time wore off the slickness,

Tore away the wit.

A shuffle not a strut.

Was this little man

the darkness of her fears?

Wrinkled, like a burst balloon skin.

Shrunken inside a retro suit.

Hesitantly she stepped forward,

waving to attract his attention.

“I will try to forgive, Mother, I will try”


© phylor, 2015


7 thoughts on “the darkness under the mask

  1. DELL CLOVER June 7, 2015 / 4:23 pm

    Oh my gosh. Hits hard like a big truck–well done.


    • phylor June 7, 2015 / 4:27 pm

      Thanks — that is hard hitting!

      It was a funny write. I had started several others (cult, fractured family due to abuse, etc.) but never finished them, or didn’t like them.
      So I thought, one more try. I had no idea her father was in prison! The suave sophisticate father came to mind first.


      • DELL CLOVER June 7, 2015 / 4:38 pm

        Kudos for sticking with it till you wrote something you liked! The opening got to me most–I can still feel the tears and the colossal weight of every time my dad said I had to set the example for my 5 younger sibs. No kid should have that kind of responsibility, you know? And I related to the huge amount of unforgiveness.


        • phylor June 7, 2015 / 4:44 pm

          That is a big responsibility to place on a child. Unfair to make the child the parent. That relationship might come later.


          • DELL CLOVER June 7, 2015 / 4:47 pm

            Yes, being the 3rd parent–and most active one–sealed my decision to NOT be a mother. I’ve never regretted it, as I fear I would have passed on a lot of baggage/trauma to kids.


            • phylor June 7, 2015 / 4:51 pm

              Just having a child doesn’t make you a good parent. It’s life-changing event. Please be sure you are ready to make that decision.
              It’s sad that your childhood was spent as a third parent.
              My mother and her sister were raised by a single father. My aunt, 3 years older, assumed the parenting role.
              As it turns out, she had 6 children!
              I meant to use the bolded word. The whole meaning changes by adding the n’t.


              • DELL CLOVER June 7, 2015 / 4:53 pm

                Well, I’m nearing 63 and quite content “alone”, so….


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