Portrait Busts

Hard men - you see their faces everywhere:

Across those desolate desks, or, masklike, at

Some rostrum: lines and furrows, marble eyes;

Old faces, seamed and pitted like the moon.

And these were children, graceful, debonair,

Who fed their rabbit, hugged a clinging cat;

Later were boys, with poems like kites, and wise

With a young wisdom, whistling a small tune.


All gone, with even memories twisted round

To show them now as always - artful, shrewd,

Quick at the means to do another down.

Lost, lost that innocence, and lost the sound

Of gaiety in voices cracked and crude

From lying. Gone. Lost. Instead that iron frown.