Though half a loaf is better far than none,

Half a face shows half a disposition,

And wondering if a masked man you should shun

You’ll only know by deepest intuition.

But when the blasted masks are finally gone,

You’ll call the unmasked stranger friend or foe:

The unmasked man is one you’ll look upon

As one who’ll give you joy or give you woe.

You’ll sense the kind of person that you view,

And with his face not half a face but whole,

You’ll understand his heart quite through and through

And plumb the depths into his very soul.

So throw away your mask so we can see

The type of person you were meant to be.

A longtime Princeton resident, Cheiten is the author of numerous short stories and poems, several plays, and the Princeton-based novella “The Hidden Ally.”