I will not be there
when you are the age I am now—
this we must face.
I waited to have you
for reasons that are old rags of memory
from clothes I wore before you.
In today’s mirror I see you,
in your diaphanous future—
thin skin, fragile hair,
I know how it will be.
There will be that subtle shift
when the time you’ve lived
than the time you have left.
Do not be frightened.
The time remaining is the richer—
thirsty silk in a bath of wisdom,
whose color grows deeper
the longer it soaks.
You will be tempted to mourn
the brilliant shield of youth.
It was never yours to keep.
In your jewelled raiment of wisdom,
They will throw over you
the cloak of invisibility;
Beauty’s power is always ceded.
Put on the silver breastplate
that cannot be taken from you.
You will remember the times I hurt you
and you, in your generous spirit,
will forgive me even if you do not now.
You will remember the times you hurt me,
and you will struggle to forgive yourself.
Know that I did, immediately.
In your future mirror
you will see me in you,
I am still with you.