shyness behind bravado
erect shoulders and a straightforward gaze
inside cringing, feeling a fraud
regardless of doctorates, awards,
the admiration and accolades.
we all wear a mask, sometimes we do
not even see them ourselves, our eyes
blinded by fear and reluctance to leave
the cocoon we spun so carefully to protect
ourselves from our beginnings.
we all wear a mask, the light shines
in when we pull it away.
we see ourselves in all our