The Light of the Maskless

I

Four children, one mother,
unkempt, worried, frowns and grimaces.
They are bare to the world,
they inhale new air.
They bow their heads prepared for reprimand.
The mother looks away.
They recognize the smile.
The way it connects warmly to the eyes.
They grit their teeth, they breathe.
The mother smiles, too.
An air of gratitude, a
relief from nerve,
a return to normalcy.

II

Stocked up on what’s necessary.
Same as your food being medicine
and vice versa, we scout for vitamin
C.

“You know these people don’t realize
those things don’t work.”
It’s advertised in print and known
anywhere.

We chuckle to each other,
eyes filled with kind recognition
and gratitude. Her husband comes
around and gratefully acknowledges
the percentages are getting higher.
We smile and depart.

III

Six foot and taller with a lot of hair,
he was a stocky and strong man that
approached from afar. At twenty feet
he calls to me. He says its good to see
me and acknowledges my smile.

“These people around here,”
he says, “They don’t know what they’re
doing; they just don’t know what’s going on.”

He’s grinning and speaking through his
wiry black beard. They don’t pay attention,
he says, or they don’t care. Again,
the gratitude. The genuine
intent of well wishes
and thankfulness from a man
I may have never spoken to
had I stayed home that day.

“The Light of the Maskless” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved.

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