by Theodora Goss
Each morning, standing barefoot on cold tiles,
I ask you, not who is the fairest in the land —
I’m neither that vain nor ambitious.
But am I as fair as I was
yesterday, or the day before yesterday,
all the yesterdays on which I was younger
than I am today. Those lines that Mother Time,
the indefatigable spider,
is spinning beneath my eyes — have they spread overnight?
Perhaps I should stop smiling so frequently.
Perhaps I should stop frowning, avoid the sun —
already it has painted a few brown spots
on my cheeks and forehead. Or sleep for a hundred years,
which is as effective, they say, as a facelift.
Each morning you say, yes, you are older now.
There are white hairs on either side of your forehead,
looking as though they had been touched by Frost,
whose fingers leave precisely such fine streaks
over the meadow grasses, the windowpanes.
Soon, you will become a winter landscape
crossed by tracks where hare and deer have passed
on their way into the darkness of the forest.
Soon, you will sprout mushrooms.
Wake up, wake up! you say.
You will sleep all too soon — now is the time
to live as though you were going to live forever,
as though winter never comes
and all the fairy tales
(The image is The Green Mirror by Guy Orlando Rose.)