Four Masks

The mask I see in the mirror:

A woman who has come to love silence,

who sees life through prisms, hexagonal

planes like the vision

of flying insects, so much color

breaking against reason. Thin

eyebrows. Nose off center.

The mask I wore for my mother:

Bright in the way of silk roses,

more than once it threw dinner

crashing to the floor and yet

was afraid to disobey.

At night it stood at the top of the long stairs

just to hear her talking.

The mask I swore my mother wore:

Small clouds like lace

on the brow. Eyepieces

I couldn’t see through.

Even her small shoulders

would make me cry. When she died

I saw her face.

The mask I passed on to my children:

Comes late for dinner

and leaves early, clears the dishes quickly.

This mask

is all relatives alive or dead,

drunk, sober, or beautiful. Oh God, yes,

at least beautiful.

Everyone at the table finds a window,

stares intently through.

—Cortney Davis

✥❆✥❆✥❆✥❆✥

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Published in: on June 2, 2010 at 10:14 PM  Leave a Comment  
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