Togetherness

His head is bowed, his brow once smooth is furrowed.
His hair is slate and silvered with the years.
Time rips away each vestige man strives to keep,
Then flings it back, bedimmed and streaked with tears.

His eyes are blue, yet once I saw there mirrored;
Young, radiant hope, each gaze a new caress.
Time strips the magic veil to naked starkness
Till there is naught to see but nothingness.

His step is slow; his tread is short and halting-,
Once firm and quick and eager to be gone.
Time peters thin the stretch of the elastic
As weariness rejects the strength of dawn.

His hands are hard and calloused where was firmness.
The hammer, saw, all tools have taken their toll.
Time marks the way and steals the tremulous heart beat,
The hand that reached to wake my sleeping soul.

Time! Time! You have the vantage in your favour,
To age the hair, the eyes, the hands, the feet-,
To steal from youth the hope of new tomorrows-,
To turn to dust the golden, paved street.

Though you have aged his outward mortal being
Our love has stripped you of your power, O Time!
Eyes grown dim, silver hair is but a symbol;
For together we have made old age sublime.

– 1965

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