Masks

 

We talk a lot about that here

Which is good, I think—it must

Be an important theme

 

I’m not sure why I was talking

Yesterday with my brother

About Guy Fawkes

 

It’s a strange holiday from my

American look—you know,

“Remember the fifth of

November and such”—but

 

Then, I have “the eighteenth

Of April, in Seventy-five;/

Hardly a man is now alive”

(hardly)

 

Remembering, as we should,

That Revere had help from

Other riders, a man and a

Young woman

 

There—I’ve forgotten about

Masks, like the one on Guy

Fawkes (used in V is for

Vendetta), a definition of

Wry, sardonic looks broadcast

Throughout the realm

 

Carnivals (pick a nation) wear

Masks, as do some super-

Heroes and, well, bank

Robbers, too

 

Celebration (okay, maybe

Criminality), impression,

Second plastic skin, the

Need to turn away

 

But I think we mean the

Masks that hide our feelings,

Even our deeper thoughts—

 

Things that need concealment

And from which we fear

Exposure

 

Do you know who I am? a

Twenty-first century search

 

Finds sad response: a number

Of YouTubes (Do you know

Who I am? I’m entitled to

Road rage),

 

Well-known persons in the

Mind, at least, who have

Declared this in a gross

Way—and a book for women

 

(And, who knows, the book

Might be good)

 

But for the earnest question,

We don’t perceive the block,

Which is, we cannot ask

The question:

 

Masks inhibit the seeing of

Another and the hearing of

Oneself

 

It’s really a question that

Has beauty; now it needs

Strength

 

To ask and, on the way, taking

Down—relenting—of our

Masks, souls in disguise

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