Monday, July 18, 2011

Face Value

Photo posted by Tess Kincaid
for Magpie Tale #74

Perhaps if we’d known then about the masks,
it wouldn’t be so hard to accept now;
but the dressing rooms were hidden from us,
locked behind the clothes racks in the closets.

I believed in the value of faces:
the good and bad, true and false, black and white;
the land of the free and the golden rule.
Masks were for Mardi gras, minstrels and plays.

But one day I found a skeleton key
that opened the door to the hidden room.
An old sign said: All masks are free. Take one.
Write your name in the book on the table.

And there they were – volume after volume,
Names, dates, masks they’d chosen and worn.
I smiled, and wiped a tear as I wrote:
Howdy Doody mask: “Hey Kids, what time is it?”

I didn’t bother to lock the door …

Poem posted for


  1. very imaginative response, Ann-- xxxj

  2. A Howdy Doody mask sounds interesting...

  3. A really imaginative Magpie.

  4. Quite a quirky path you took with this Magpie. I am imagining what mask I would take from the room (since you left it unlocked)...

  5. Thanks everyone for reading and leaving your thoughts. So many different reactions to this week's Magpie so far!

  6. Sobering ... if only we could all don Howdy Doody masks and stop bad things from happening. Beautifully composed, Ann.

  7. Wow, I loved your take on this magpie. This is superb. Always good stuff here!

  8. Howdy Doody masks would sweep the market here!! That was brill. I do enjoy a unique take!

  9. Compelling piece; puts me in
    mind of some of the older
    theaters I worked in--so many
    rooms locked, mysterious.
    I would have taken the Buffalo
    Bob mask I think.

  10. Howdy Doody reminds me of Reagan. Surely a kabuki dance in this delightful poem.

  11. Is there anyone without a mask? At least some of the time?
    Your words confirm my thoughts.

  12. A clever interpretation of the recurrent "We all wear a mask" theme.

  13. Mine would need an extra large space to fit my mustache...