My mother wears a mask for Mardi Gras,

My mother wears a mask for Mardi Gras,

the purple feathers barely part for her eyes
then circle like fingers moving outward 
as if to wring the wrinkles out
and hide the dark rings
that, even unmasked, make them
hard to see and be seen.
Though she says, for the thousandth time, 
she has no use for nonsense,
her lips curl into a weary,
Whatever, which could be the truth disguised: 
There is nowhere to be but here,
time hanging like a heavy cloak. 
The photo is snapped so the present
becomes permanent, even if a lie.
We might be heard to remark someday  
this was what happiness looked like.

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