Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Exploring Our Values Through Poetry: A Program for High School Youth

Handout 1: The Face In The Mirror

From The Complete Poems (New York: Penguin Books, 2003).

Grey haunted eyes, absent-mindedly glaring

From wide, uneven orbits; one brow drooping

Somewhat over the eye

Because of a missile fragment still inhering,

Skin deep, as a foolish record of old-world fighting.

Crookedly broken nose — low tackling caused it;

Cheeks, furrowed; coarse grey hair, flying frenetic;

Forehead, wrinkled and high;

Jowls, prominent; ears, large; jaw, pugilistic;

Teeth, few; lips, full and ruddy; mouth, ascetic.

I pause with razor poised, scowling derision

At the mirrored man whose beard needs my attention,

And once more ask him why

He still stands ready, with a boy's presumption,

To court the queen in her high silk pavilion.