Black Hooded Men 1875

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Gentlemen –

come closer . . .
peer into this black
box standing on three
legs,
I’ll cover my head.

All of you wear hats
wide brim – top –
shadows on faces.

Let me
center you behind
my traveling curtain.

Men yank on those
suspenders, wrap arms
behind straight backs –

Most of you stout –
fat bellies bursting
white buttons sewn to
a neatly pressed cotton
shirt

Observers stare from
curbstones –  heads tilted,
bewildered by my curtain.

Only a black hooded man
flashing frowns of memory
on faces –
hearing laughter on the
street.

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