You were young and beautiful,

the long red hair, dyed

but not vibrant, not outlandish

or gaudy, just beautiful

which matched your eyes

in a playful, yet stern like feature, a Cleopatra

as she maintained order and brought

generals and leaders to their quivering knees;

you were beautiful and for a while

I was lost in your young eyes

dancing in alert fashion

on the way to Waterloo.

It was only as I went to leave

the bus that I noticed the old man,

gasping badly, fighting for each breath

and with wrinkles upon wrinkles

in his long lost lonely eyes.

Beauty fades,

the wrinkles accumulate with interest

the more the passer by ignores

what has once been.


Ian D. Hall 2017