Flash fiction (poetry): “Unmasking” by Val Muller

Welcome to the Spot Writers. The prompt for this month is “Spring has sprung.” Today’s poem comes to us from Val Muller, author of the kidlit mystery series Corgi Capers.



By Val Muller


The buds emerge,

The pollen dusts,

The birds eat worms,

The masks come off.


The wintery brown

Has gone away;

Like bright green grass,

Faces on display.


A singing chorus

Chirps in sunbeams;

Our eyes in the mirror

Wake from a dream.


There is no “mute,”

The window’s open.

Our teeth look so big,

Our faces look broken.


The mask was our blanket

Under winter’s hibernation.

Spring’s thrown that off—

But where’s our elation?


Our pandemic winter—

Drawn out—a long one—

Each instant of it

Seems quite drawn on:


Every line etched

Upon our faces,

Our tired eyes,

Our mouths misplaced,


The worry lines,

The wrinkled brow:

We smiled more Before

Than we do now.


The blanket of snow

Melts to flower.

A field, exposed,

No screen to cover.


Early spring’s


Mud and chill

And still the threat of snow.


Gossamer fluff brings


With no mask

To hide our sneeze.


But Sun persists

When humanity falters,

Ignites the blooms,

Illuminates alters


Of rebirth

And ancient memory

Of blooming leaf

Upon the tree.


For years we nestled

Under warm quilted faces.

We stayed in our homes

And feared going places.


And we emerge

From Winter places,

From months not knowing

Social graces:


Teeth look like seeds,

Faces are wrong,

Noses are beaks,

Cheeks-chins, too long.


Shaking winter,

Frozen souls

Stumble into sunshine,

Shedding woes.


The winter thaw

Flows out our veins

As we walk into

The sun again.


We stumble out,

Crack jaws with smiles.

Each baby step

Aches like a mile.


The cold of winter’s

A deathly hibernation,

But we wake.

Aches in our limbs


Remind us that

We are alive,

Survived, Awake, Aware—

We thrive.


In the spring wind,

High in a tree,

A quilted mask ear strap

Flaps in the breeze.


A bird nestles,

In colorful nest thrives,

While those below

Try on their new lives.


The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/


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