WHEN THEY ASK ABOUT MY FACE

Nancy Carol Moody’s poem reflects on the unintended fierceness of her face, which betrays the softness that lives behind. Illustrated by Maria Rikteryte.

When they ask about my face
I will say something about snow,
the skittered tracks of a hare,
just prior to the hush.

I will say wind bores
salt into sea-boards,
taut rope burns a furrow,
Leaf rust pockmarks autumn elms.

I will talk of hoarfrost bit by hob-nail,
a meadow after the scythe,
the dory’s barnacled hull,
a peppermint held
too long against the palate.

When they ask about my face
I will say that even a trodden carriage
leaves wheel marks in the stone,
that shrapnel can flare
a staggering tattoo,

that left to their own devices,
sparks of midnight fireworks
will carve ferocious trails
into the black wax of the sky.


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