A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

“If You Had a Mask,” by Siri Gannholm

If You Had a Mask

It would be woven out of feathers
and would obscure all of you
as if you had been swallowed whole
by your own mouth and shame
Broken glass would be your crown
the remnants of your days in cages
and your hair would be dyed a natural color
to match your eyes
Through the eye holes, you would see
a world largely unchanged
but for its newfound clarity
unobstructed by mineral rain
Reaching into your lungs, you would
decipher mountains and cities
populated by the cavity left behind by an earthquake
Your feet would make the ground invisible
and would be covered in plaster
to hide those scars you received from running through the rocks;
your ears, fox-like, and big enough
to scare away your predators.
You see, you are like an animal
perhaps bent and broken
but unable to rebuild anything but walls.

Siri Gannholm of Garfield High School wrote “If You Had a Mask” as part of the 2017/2018 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate cohort. Performed at Seattle Arts & Lectures’ SAL Presents event with Madeleine Albright on April 24, 2018, at The Paramount Theatre.

Posted in 2017/18 SeasonStudent Writing