The innocence of age

bark

On my walk through the park
       I notice that the shadows
of the trees themselves have aged
       I inspect the corrugated bark
the deep lines on trunk and branch
       how time never passes without
leaving an indelible mark
       on all things and I marvel at
the wisdom of oak and sycamore
       so closely adherent
to the monastic virtue
       of stability

If all things pass some do so
       at a slower pace than others
so I am content to discount
       my dog years and I gaze
defiantly into the mirror—
      what is beautiful is perhaps
an acquired taste : I adore
       the innocence and energy
of young children who skip
       along the paths of their childhood

I know that in time age will
       bend their shadows too
that ash and elm will outlive them
       that their dreams for a while
will touch the golden moon
       until gravity brings them down
to the level earth but that their hearts
       will never be still

John Lyons

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