Poem by David Ratcliffe

Self Portrait

You see in my tired face
a vision of an old man
beaten by the time.

Nothing of youthful abandon
from days when control
could not contain my will.

Nothing of liquid thoughts
in clouds of smoke
leading to stocking tops

and jealous men.
The flounce and lace,
the lamplight ballet

Comfort sought at too
high a price; sweet folly
in rayon sucking on

my dignity, leaving scars
both evident…

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