Do you remember how he charted every line?
reflection of the days and every mark of time?
With peerless honesty he gazed into his own eyes,
made sure the paint and canvas never told a lie.
From etchings of himself as a gay young man
a cheerful feather in his velvet hat, showing off his
gorgeous pantaloons and jacket.
And then in the middle of his life,
acknowledging respect and some small fame,
painting the light on the arms and face of his welcoming
And still in an empty sunlit room,
when love and fame had slipped away,
he faced again his own decay,
in the strong light of a clear day.
Suddenly saw he was an old man,
crackled and lined like an ancient jar,
an apple preserved in a dusty hall,
without youth and fame and silk and furs,
he saw that this is what we are;
utterly human and completely loved.
From ”The Bird of Morning”