there are times when you wish
everything were so easily forgotten.
as you face the hard fact that
your days of breaking hearts are past.
as far behind you as innocence and rosary beads,
and creeping downstairs to watch forbidden TV.
they’ve spiralled down into the pages of old diaries.
I remember you
one lost rainy solstice,
beautiful with the purity of youth,
untried, arrogant, straight
and strong and true.
it was the longest day
of summer, before it turned
to retreat from our tanned arms
and your defiant face.
that steady march away from glamour –
your eyebrows scold it,
as you bristle, insolent as a cat –
but none of us can hold it back.
or the years that follow
and strip you of your silky hair,
smooth-skinned, lithe-limbed nonchalance,
that once inviolate confidence,
cool studied air of being unaware.
you are less sure, less yourself,
your sharp clean edges fuzzied, ill defined,
a pale reflection of yesterday’s radiance.
it’s almost too much for me to bear.