Un Masked

oh Dear, remember when we looked into each other’s eyes, 
When masked, you imagined my moist lips smiling,
And saw my wrinkles like darts pointing to brighter skies.

Oh dear, let us remember , to remember, remember before we
“Grow Old and our trousers are rolled.”(1)

Oh dear, let us remember, to remember, remember before our masks are rolled beneath our chin.
Oh Dear, before you see my cracked lips lined straight without frown or grin.
And tone and contour and lines reveal our every sin.

Oh dear ,you may be shocked to find crumb , or dust, or drool on my face
And then ,see my nose quite crooked and long and out of place
Perhaps then see my cheeks too Rudy or drawn or fat
And bumps or pimples that make you ask “what the heck is that?”
then you may point to the wrinkle and sweetly call it a “dimple”
While I stare back to think of the time when all was true and simple.

To remember when you once trusted in not seeing and now ,seeing, you doubt.
To remember when we could only see each other’s souls shining out
Bright eyes of wonder and hope and love from some eternal spout

Oh dear , let us remember to remember, before our masks are rolled beneath our chin.
Remember , when the “windows of our souls” once shined brightly what was within. (2,3,4)

Despite all inconvience , constraint and irritations , the masks of the COVID 19 era allowed us to look into each other’s eyes. It gave us a focus on one another despite the pandemic intent of “separation”. Somehow , we had to focus on one another’s eyes to listen carefully to one another. This poem is a thanksgiving for the “one another” intimacy that God initiated in this season. It was a season when we took the time to look at one another in the eyes and believe a greater time was to come. Where the virus seemed to isolate, isolation gave rise to intimacy . May we remember.

1. T. S Elliot The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock “I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled”

2. Cicero (approx 43 BC) “the face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are it’s interpreter”

3. Matthew 6:22 The eye is the lamp to the body . So if your eye is sound your entire body will be full of light. Luke 17:32 “remember Lot’s wife”

4. Salluste Du Bartas (poet 1544-1596) “these lovely lamps, these windows of the soul” and Shakespeare from “Romeo and Juliet” Act 2 “eyes are the windows of the soul” both writers based text from the teaching of Jesus recorded in Matthew 6:22