I watch
my children
watch his face
with awe
and fear
that clings like silence
to the air–

this gentle man,
his eyes
and face and hands
with silent words

that laugh
at us, but only
to himself,
because he cares
to make us laugh

Who is this man
who moves behind
a mask of white

as balls dance up
and round
and sometimes down
and he in step
and we in turn


Who is this man?

We almost know
and yet
he seems to know us



Denise Segal Umans grew up in South Africa and now lives in the Boston area. She is a speech-language therapist and linguist and has worked in the areas of language and literacy development and language-learning difficulties for over 30 years. More recently, she has focused on teaching English as a second language as well as consulting on projects in applied linguistics. She has published and co-published articles in professional journals as well as general-interest magazines. Her poetry has been published in Poetry Quarterly, and she has another poem due to appear soon in Avocet.




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