The Beard

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The beard belongs to a period,
although the period may last
a man’s whole hidden life.
Overgrown tracks beckoned
and he turned down them,
late nights in libraries
turned into a career.
He needed a hedge, a sign
in front of the world.
My roshi once called all
facial hair “the weeds
of ignorance,” but he
never been side-tracked.

-Wm Marling

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