28 June 2006

I shall be older than this one day,
I shall think myself young when I remember.
Nothing can change the slow change of masks my face must wear,
One following one.
These gloves my hands have put on,
the pleated skin, patterned by the pale tracings of my days...
These are not my hands!
And yet these gloves do not come off!
I shall wear older ones tomorrow,
'till glove after glove,
and mask after mask
I am buried beneath the baggage of Old Woman.
Oh, then, shall I drop them off
Unbutton the sagging, misshappen apparel of age,
and run, young and naked,
into Eternity.

~Joan Walsh Anglund

I love collecting Joan Walsh Anglund books, those precious little books of poetry and tender illustrations that provoke feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality for my youth. This poem, however, is written for a more mature audience, and it too is very special to me.

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