The Mask Behind the Laughter

Image Credit: 
Public Domain

The rictus grin of a clown’s final mask,
practised and realised on his second week
in stand-up—1974.

He’d gone as far as painting it on
at least once a month.
Even then he knew what it was.

He always started with the eyes,
dropped down to his resting mouth
and painted on a smile, wide and dark,
but never quite his mind’s reflection.

This time it was different.
He knew from the first smudge of base
that this will be his last
and most considered application.

That the mouth will be right this time.

Sarah L Dixon lives in Yorkshire. She gets inspiration from water and adventures with her son, Frank. She has two books published.

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