Staring intently at the face in the glass,
wondering at its changes through the years.
I've looked at this face trapped in mirrored cell.
I've noticed the marks of time, showing who I have become
sometimes without knowing it.
Hair, the shade of used dishwater
never thick nor bouncy
now speckled here and there with flecks of gray.
The forehead, once smooth, now shows faint creases,
like soft ripples in a pond - thought lines,
is what I prefer to call them.
The eyebrows, perfectly arched (can one be proud of eyebrows?)
drawn together by wrinkles of consternation.
The eyes staring back at me so intently,
are brilliantly blue at this moment.
Showing no signs of years past.
Pleasing in their clarity and smoothness, yet sad,
for the same reasons.
None of the little lines attributed to laughter,
a sorry testament to a life with little joy.
The nose, this strong, straight nose,
draws the gaze to the mouth below.
Lips; soft, moist, and beautifully shaded.
Clearly defined shape urges a sensual pride within me.
The mustache framing that softly sexy mouth
matches the hair without the flecks of age.
Teeth, not quite as bright as they once were,
too much coffee and too many cigars perhaps.
Ah, no matter, the straight wide smile,
is pleasing still - when allowed to show.
That chin, sharply defined as is the jaw,
once coated in soft dark whiskers, but now...
cleanly shaven since too much dark had turned gray.
Overall, this face in the glass looks at me,
clarity, strength, pride showing fiercely.
No feature here so impressive as to draw focus,
but all blending nicely to form this mask.
Signs of worry touched lightly here or there,
but ultimately, this face staring back at me
hides all that has come to pass, all that boils beneath.
I close my eyes and turn away,
tearing my gaze from that visage framed in argentine.
I close my eyes and heart to that ageless facade
staring at me from the mirror.
Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
[This message has been edited by JP (edited 08-17-99).]