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  • Which is it then the man who grieves,
    is it me, or is it him?
    The laughter spilling from a gut,
    who belongs to it, says it’s his?
    Who the soul that lives within,
    is it me or is it him?

    All sensation, beauty, truth
    who can claim it?
    Is he who fires the thought
    the same as he who dies;
    his brainy art for happy
    wound down?

    Who looks to the fair dawn rising
    greets it not with fresh accord?
    In the very first glory of morning,
    which man exactly is grateful,
    says thank-you-my-friend with a kiss?

    Not the actor for a stage! Nor the artist
    torn in two; not the role that is expected
    nor the one we choose to do, but him
    who watches all our life, an umpire
    behind the plate.

    Who? Is the masked man?

    Fifty-some in, he’s a friend.
    We’ve come to an arrangement where I ask him
    every tough question I have.
    He’s always helpful, quick to point out
    though I’m not always listening, I hear every time.
    But what is his purpose, following me around
    nudging this way or that?

    We both share the same inclination,
    for wallowing in the muck of it all;
    both of us keep-up appearances,
    each laughs at their own make-believe.
    Isn’t it curious, strange in a way;
    one day we both know it’s ending
    but neither knows just what to say.
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