the mask, photography by Steffen Ulbrich

the mask, photography by Steffen Ulbrich

There is deepness in my eyes/a deepness sculptured/from the journey

of my grandmother’s strength and the passion inflamed through the energy

of many ancestors who have risen through the tunnels of defeat

molded from the sweat and scars of pride as they continue to march

in every pour of my textured definition/a familiar recognition/that strengthens

my soul to stand on these thirty-four year old tired feet.


Take a good look at this face and see all that is hidden

behind the mask of my hearts embrace/ my stare have walked

through fields of ignorance for many years shielded

by a self-made disguise and guided by the tracks of my own tears;

I’ve been a gladiator battling in the coliseum of life with no amour

to defend the shadows of pain and no mediator to shield me

from the hardship and sadness of an internalized stain,


but still I’ve stood in victory/determined/with faded sideburns

showcasing the genetics of honor and the biology of discovery

because those who have come before me have taught me to rise

and find the prize within me and hold it as a trophy/shining bright;

a reward recognized in the chiseled framework of my chin

and the fight that exploded from the definition in my cheek bones.

So take a good look at this face and uncover all that is hidden

and discover the many places my blood has traveled.


© 2010

Tarringo T. Vaughan

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