chocolate is a verb

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Tag Archives: mask

found poem: This

ghosts…

HalloweenHe was two, his ghost head twisted round as he tried to peer through one ragged eye hole. I was three, my plaid skirt and saddle shoes too stiff, my black cloak too small, my witch’s mask designed for someone else’s face.

The little ghost lived down the street in a house full of kids and toys, open doors, loud voices and laughter. I was dazzled by this permeable place that seemed to have no rules, where I, and everyone, was welcome.

And while she didn’t stop me from going there, and she couldn’t stop my father from welcoming the children into his workshop, as he did all the neighborhood kids, my mother quickly found reason to criticize. These people were “unsophisticated,” “bawdy,” “loud.”

The little ghost, who was kind and shy and eventually grew taller than his tall father, was “dumb,” by Dorothy’s assessment. She was wrong. He became a physicist.

And I, confused by the twin realities of my mother’s voice and our neighbors’ house, tilted my head back to peer at the world through her eyes until I discovered that it was just a mask, and it wasn’t mine, and I could take it off.

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