Still The Same

Such a wonderful face, their mother’s.  As a younger woman she’d been beautiful, far more beautiful than Laurel, more so than any of her daughters, with the possible exception of Daphne.  She certainly wouldn’t have had directors pushing her towards character roles.  But one thing you could bank on was that beauty – the sort that came with youth – didn’t last, and their mother had grown old.  Her skin had sagged, spots had appeared, along with mysterious puckers and discolorations.  Her bones had seemed to subside as the rest of her shrank and her hair frayed to nothing.  But still that face remained, every aspect bright with mischief, even now.  Her eyes, though tired, had the glint of one who never stopped expecting to be amused, and her mouth turned up at the corners as if she’d just remembered a joke.  It was the sort of face that drew strangers, that enchanted them and made them want to know her better.  The way she had of making you feel, with a slight twitch of the jaw, that she too had suffered as you did, that everything would be better now simply for having come within her orbit.  That was her real beauty – her presence, her joy, her magnetism.  That, and her splendid appetite for make-believe.

(I wrote this down more than a year ago, but I can’t remember the author.)

***

Old French Lane

Seven jewels lie in the channel
South of England’s shores
Where you and I once walked together
Where I’ll walk no more

Hand in hand we would go
In the sun and in the rain
Through the streets of St. Helier
Down the Old French Lane

With Jersey sunshine falling on your hair
Shines in strands of red and gold
And eyes of green like the emerald sheen
Of your ancestral home

That was so long ago
Red and gold turn silver now
But eyes of green will never change
In my memory somehow

***

“She’s an attractive woman.”  So said a friend about another friend, who’s in her 50’s.  Yes, our faces are no longer as smooth and upright as a 20-year-old’s.  Under the chin, the skin dangles.  But the eyes still shine.  The smile appears at the flimsiest excuse.  And the soul so often comes to the surface for all to see.

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