The Forgotten Mask

Monday morning,
Cold and steel gray,
The old lady drove to the convenience store
With steely confidence
For milk and bread
To start her day.

She strode into the store,
Gathered her items,
And placed them on the counter.

The counter lady asked
“Where your mask, sweetie?”
The old lady cried out, high-pitch laughing,

“Oh My God! I left it in the car!”

And slapped her left palm over
Her mouth and nose,
While inserting her debit card
To pay for her sundries.

Taking the shopping bags,
Left hand still serving as her mask,
She elbowed open the convenience store door,
Got back in her car,
And drove home, chagrined (but still laughing)—
Wondering how she could have forgotten
The damned mask.


About This Poem: I am the “old-lady” subject of this poem. I have a whole collection of masks – most gifted by a dear friend. I keep several in my car and several in my house. I never forget! Until yesterday…. As Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan is quick to remind us in PSAs: WEAR THE DAMN MASK.

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