Issue > Poetry
Clyde Kessler

Clyde Kessler

Clyde Kessler has had poems published in many online poetry magazines including Sugar Mule, Bedlam Review, Shampoo, Rose Red, Referential Magazine, Pemmican and The Potomac. He lives in Radford, Virginia with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. He is a founding member of Blue Ridge Discovery Center, an environmental education organization in southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina.

The Heritage Mask

Mask, I have pulled you home
through my skin, through silence.
My father's mother's father whittles
your eyes from cedar stump.
They dissolve what the light begins.


I ask you nothing like a neighbor
dumping coffee grounds along the fence.
I suspect our small boundary's voice
is carved into not knowing things,
just riding with the job, the dozer
bridged between owners, a frizzed
cat that jumps like a tiger off the roof.


Mask, you are sunk from an old face,
slapped where a winter deafness has a jaw.
My great grandfather's laugh spends itself
pale-muscled in the cedar rings. Moonlight
has poured the earth deepest on through.

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