Monday, April 27, 2015

On My Sixty-seventh Birthday

National Poetry Month, Day 27

I woke up this morning and thought to myself:  Girl, you are pushing Seventy.  How did this happen?

Lately on Facebook I have been hearing from the other kids in my neighborhood from childhood, and those I went to grade school with. Here we all are, senior citizens.

Perhaps that's where this poem originated.  I came across the quote from Transtromer, and it really hit me as well:

On my sixty-seventh birthday

"We always feel younger than we are. I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its rings. The sum of them is ‘me’. The mirror sees only my latest face while I know all my previous ones.”
- Tomas Transtromer

One previous face, nose wrinkling at
the gluey smooth smell of candy on my hands
in the schoolyard…

Another, at the supper table,
child’s mouth squinching up in disgust
at asparagus,
at the sink,
at the feel of fried egg crust
wrapping itself around my fingers,
coffee grounds between my fingers
in the dishwater.

Another, staring 
into the bathroom mirror for hours,
worried that the face was too round,
the nose too big.

Fate’s face, fat and funny,
Fine wrinkles around the eyes, cheeks
Pocked with pimple scars,
Oh smooth face, fair as flour, when did you leave me?

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