Sunday, July 31, 2011

23. Youth!

You are always belittling me
with the damning epithets of youth.
"I am not your dear", I'd like to say.
But would you listen?
Laugh, perhaps.

But there will be a day
when even
the most endearing smile
has creases and crinkles
'round the edges.
The lips
pale and shrivel.

I will have
the coarsest, grayest hair to comb,
if any at all.
My slender arms, by gravity sustained
unto limper means,
drip and droop.

To you - what am I?
Doll with raven hair, silken;
lips of ruby red -
skin of flaxen gold.

I am always trying to re-label this,
projecting some stranger image.
But this is all I have,
and all I ever will -
so as I treasure it,
I use it as my vendetta,
hopelessly ensnaring you.

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One Art, to recognize, must be,
Another Art to Praise.

- Emily Dickinson