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Mel Belin



MASKS

My brother and I fought
on the way to school
through mounds of packed snow.
I must've been eight, he ten.
We had to go to the sixth grade teacher,
Mrs. Hennessy, while her class sat
and watched. Short of breath, I made
an effort to show nothing
though on the edge of crying
before the group of big kids,
and this strange woman, heavy, imposing.
She pointed to a row of African masks
on the wall, with faces, thick-lipped, savage.
"If you do that again," she said,
"I'll have them deal with you," evoking,
even as she smiled at her thrust of humor,
a harsh inevitable justice,
and of worlds beyond this small
coal town in Northeastern Pennsylvania,
enclosed, secure, at least
within its own limited brutalities.





Mel Belin
Mel Belin, author of Flesh that was Chrysalis (Word Works 1999), has been published in magazines nationwide. Winner of Potomac Review's third annual poetry competition (1998), he has been a featured reader at many Washington, DC area venues including the Writer's Center, the Library of Congress Noon Series, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Miller's Cabin. He presented one of his poems recently on a program distributed by National Public Radio.




                                    

 

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Last Updated: Sep 16th, 2007 - 08:34:32

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