I close my eyes and the fireflies flee; the light is gone. I am in the dark, alone and unmasked. No pretense required. No need to smile and pretend everything will be all right soon. Fairy tales are often grim; happily ever afters are not guaranteed. The world is dark, and I am overwhelmed by the hatred and fear that sprays the air with tear gas and Covid. So I wear the mask and force optimism I don't really feel to find its way to my eyes when I smile and tell you to stay well. I know you do the same. What choice do we have but to hold onto hope illuminated by fireflies and starlight? But for now the fireflies have fled; I am in the dark, alone and unmasked.
~Elise Skidmore ©2020