You believe there is no evidence of your youth
left in your countenance. But it’s there. I see it in the
wave of your hair. Unchanged since 1942, it rises,
sweeps across your lined forehead and resolves in a bounce
that just embraces your chin.
Your cheeks rouged with the same peach-glow blush of
eighteen wear their color a bit more discordantly than they did
when you were young. The color you apply is now less natural on your
paper-thin skin. It’s not quite garish; it’s more as if a carpenter
wiped the wrong color stain on the wood, and the wood is betrayed.
When you walked into the pancake house, even though you move
more stiffly, less fluidly, you hold your neck just so, and there is a
saucy glint in your eye as you address the server. I see the girl who
taunted those boys. Off to war they were, but first eager to dance
with you. Feel your soft hair against their cheeks, your pliant hand in theirs.
The aura of grace clings to you now, as it did then. I see the
young woman in the grand lady you are now. Perhaps you also
see her, catch glimpses of her as you pass the mirror. Seeing her,
you startle at your reflection. You carry on, however, with strength
learned then and which more than cosmetics could ever convince me
of the power of youth stored in your cells.
Photo credit: flickr creative commons user cliff1066™