Mirrors and ghosts

You look at me -

Your eyes widen as you take in

The beard - full and mature now

(White hairs to be found)

The hair - short and clippered

(The practical choice of middle-age)

The skin - more sun-kissed than before

(The legacy of years living in a warmer clime)

A baby's toy in my hand

And food stains on my checkered shirt

I look at you -

Floppy Pantene-washed hair

Youthful energy in a slender frame

Hidden beneath an oversized t-shirt

The start of a fluffy exam-period beard

Eyes bright with the promise

Of the possibilities life may bring

You look closer -

In the shadows behind me

You see an older man

His exact details hazy and indistinct

His story yet to be told

I look closer -

Behind you I make out the form

Of a young boy I still remember

(Though not as well as you do)

From 18 to 43

What do I tell you?

What do you ask me?

You open your mouth to speak

Then stop - hesitant and unsure

I smile at you instead, trying to convey

That life's twists and turns

Are yours to discover

But if they bring you to me

You will be fine

You smile back

Nod

And fade away

~zymotux 2021-03-13

---

Originally published on my Write.as blog
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