About Face – by April Bulmer

This poem evolved from the word “mask” and explores various implications of face: the face of the moon, my father and God.  I imagine the moon’s face might bear the scars of severe celestial

weather and love gone wrong. My father’s face is sensitive to the cold Canadian winter “air.” But my ultimate prayer is that God’s face is healed of its worry and stress. The poem concludes with images related to palm reading and God’s “plan” for my early soul which I imagine was a life I shared with my father and was challenging and raw even for God.

About Face

The moon, its pale mask.
How it fits against her skin
to conceal, perhaps
the blisters of fire
or the scars of a love turned
violent or mad.

I think, too, of my father
in his black balaclava
in the brisk Canadian air.
A wool hood
and beneath he rashed
as I do, even the scalp
beneath our wild dark hair.

Tonight, the Lord.
His face cream
a thick blue.
But in the morn,
I imagine his skin
is pale and clear
as a white rose petal
damp with dew.
For I pray
He heals the worry lines
and crow’s feet
of early days
when I was a primitive woman
learning to bathe.
Washing, my long, lean body
my hands and face.
Nourishing then with a mud.
Though green veins remained
and the runes of my palms too:
the fine maps designed by God.
His plan for my days
when my father hunted
and I wiped the blood
from his tired face.

April Bulmer

April Bulmer’s most recent book of poetry is called And With Thy Spirit (Hidden Brook Press, 2016). She lives in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. Contact her at april.poet@bell.net.

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This article was written by April Bulmer


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