FACES

“A man is another man’s face”

An observation I first saw in Michael Harper’s poetry 33 years past

I remember

And find time after time T. S. Eliot’s time

“To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.”

Eliot even put pale green make-up on his own

Public face

Mask, theatre

The laugh that guy put on in the blues bar

Which signified a laugh more than was one

Signifier, signifiée, semiotics

To my mind

A sign of distance from the center

Signifying

Too much bar

Too much beer

In the sound signifying a laugh that he put on

I was there that night in the blues bar, as so often

Remembering an intense, intensive week for me, year after year

Together face to face all day and into the night

And there’s no putting on of anything

Paulhaven Children’s Camp Pastor, Rec Staff, Cooks, Teens

Campfire, sacred flame, circle, singing

Sacred space, sacred time

They will always remember

Year after year until adulthood when youth and camp end, community yet remains

They remember

I will always remember

I remember

3AM conversations with a few staff around the campfire

When it all comes out

And there’s just us, talking, looking at the fire

And 3AM

But now it’s 3 AM in the blues bar, drinks done

Remembering the laugh that guy put on

The face I put on to meet the faces I meet when they compel a face from me

And the campfire burns only inside me

Behind the faces I now wear

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