Multiple masks stripped away, old wall paper
shed in strips, layer by layer, until you reveal
the bedrock foundations of your delicate face.
Your visage dissolves before my eyes until you
become what you were when I first met you:
sweet, young, fresh, a delight to catch the eye.
As you still are, to these old, fragile eyes of mine,
cataracts removed and lenses still capable of
seeing you in your spring, although it is your winter.
The snowfall of your hair cannot deny the sparkle
in your eyes, the summer freckles that will soon return,
the sunlight and joy you bring when you enter the room.
Ageing, yes, but you are as young and as sweet
as you always were. How could you not be?
Anonymity peels itself away until no barriers exist
between what you are to me now, and what you were.
It is a lie, that only the young write poetry in praise
of their beloved’s eyebrow, her lips, her gaze.
For how many days have we stood together, as one,
breathing the same air, walking together, facing
the same difficulties, and overcoming them hand in hand?
Yes, we have both slowed down – the way of all flesh –
and we are no different. We wither and perish, but
we haven’t perished yet, although we are withering.
The magic of our love, our gifts, molded into our DNA,
will not perish with us, and never will, not while
our spirits live on and our love creates others in our shape.
Click here for Roger’s reading.
“In the human face, the anonymity of the universe becomes intimate.” John O’Donohue, Cara Anam, p. 37.