Thursday, June 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986


I’ll make myself a mask of your face.
I’ve been training a long time for this
Complete with puppet stick in hand
I’ll dance your name across the land
Until we hit the floor,
Exhaust sets in
And I’m to cradle you once more.

I’ll take your mask and place it over my brittle skin
That waits for yours.
I’ll press our masks together.
Nobody can tell us apart
Like this.
I remember looking up at you from my bed
Your lips shaping the words from a storybook as you read
And I watch you
Barely listening
Barely hearing anything.

It’s been 15 years
And still I cannot make your mask quite right
The dreams are fading
Details collapse each time I have to recreate
In the shaping of this mask…
The task is near impossible some days
I awake as puppeteer and still you are not operational
I am unprofessional – I apologise.
Your arms are floppy and your forehead frowns in shyness
Your brow has no direction.
You cannot cry but I do weep
I know the wood won’t rot
But I still fear it could…

Today I made your mask the same
As every other day
And flattened in your picture frame
A lifeless mask you must remain.

Daisy Thurston-Gent