Ah Vanity

by Stuart Gardiner

Ah, Vanity

I am slowly going deaf and blind
Rather that than lose my mind
I wake each day just to remind
Myself that life’s been kind

Not to hear the bird or bee
The cadences of wind and sea
The subtle shift in chord and key
A sadly lost affinity

I bless the day but trawl the past
With a strange assorted cast
A smorgasbord of memories dart
Through my head like Rorscharch art

A glance, a glimpse, a stare, a pose
Instant impressions to diagnose
The prim, the precise, the loose, the vain
The harsh, the feeble, the tired, the profane

And I wonder, how do they see me?
And on a verdict do they agree?
The fallen arch, the niggling knee
The daily dose of vitamin C,
The wrinkles where none used to be

The leaves are yellow, the bough is bent
Whoever warned of such descent?
Green shoots that used to thrive
Eager eyes which spelled alive
Now a shell which can’t revive
A weathered nag, long in tooth
Self-pitying forgotten youth

Perhaps best not to seek
A verdict that implies antique.
A truer test exists, alas,
The image in the looking glass

But the looking glass can lie
When witnessed by a jaundiced eye
The mirror appears to reflect
A face I seem to recollect

The wrinkles fade and disappear
Once- tired eyes are bright and clear
And on the scalp which once was bare
Stands luxuriant hear of hair
Ah, vanity. Never underestimate
The human capacity to create
A myth, an illusion, a greener field
All depressing truth concealed

Stuart Gardiner

Stuart Gardiner is an ex-journalist and business communicator. Now retired.

Last updated October 28, 2016