Anna Roseboro inspired me to wrote a poem based on Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask.”
I went back and forth between an Etheree and a Golden Shovel form – I decided on an Etheree
– ten lines with that number of syllables in each line. I wrote mine in descending order, using borrowed lines with some rearrangement of words.
Our cries to thee from tortured souls arise,
Christ, we smile, but oh, great Christ our cries!
We sing with torn and bleeding hearts,
Beneath our feet, long the mile!
Let them only see us
while we wear the mask.
It hides our cheeks,
Shades our eyes,