My poem for the Wearing a Mask series on Silver Birch Press.
In a Time of Hidden Faces
by Carol A. Stephen
This face, my mask of age, slips south
into my neck, wrinkles drawn down by time
and gravity into folds, creases, wattle.
Still, when youth shines forth in my smile, wrinkles
tighten. Years slip away. Or they did—
Now, a different mask, a swath of black cloth
covers dimples, highlights the slight droop
of lower eyelid under my glasses.
Over my shoulder, masks of the past
stare blank-eyed from the wall, and I remember
those days in Venice, that long-ago night in Rome,
the sweetness of a kiss by the Trevi fountain.
Those kissed lips hide now under my new mask, worn
for your safety. I cannot offer you a grin, but
I offer the people of my world my respect,
expressed by this black band across my face.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: As we all consider social distancing, and…
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