Verse > Carl Sandburg > Smoke and Steel > III. Broken-Face Gargoyles > 13. Mask
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Carl Sandburg (1878–1967).  Smoke and Steel. 1922.
  
III. Broken-Face Gargoyles
13. Mask
  
TO have your face left overnight
Flung on a board by a crazy sculptor;
To have your face drop off a board
And fall to pieces on a floor
Lost among lumps all finger-marked        5
  —How now?
  
To be calm and level, placed high,
Looking among perfect women bathing
And among bareheaded long-armed men,
Corner dreams of a crazy sculptor,        10
And then to fall, drop clean off the board,
Four o’clock in the morning and not a dog
Nor a policeman anywhere—
  
  Hoo hoo!
had it been my laughing face        15
maybe I would laugh with you,
but my lover’s face, the face I give
women and the moon and the sea!

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