Strange how the face changes
(slowly as a tree grows
taking away a space of summer sky)
eyes deeper now, chin sagged,
deep creased cheeks,
the outrageous scratch of time.

Strange how this mask
rediscovered in the attic
transparent plastic gathering
a light-caste, still as death,
of a younger face
that would not fit me now.

That daily trek to the radio therapy room,
this mask, fixing my head
precisely on the bright white slab.
slotted and crossed with targets
for the deadly ray.

Strange, when the nurse left,
holding my breath,
smoke smell
where no smoke was …


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