Rory Hudson

Rookie - 113 Points (10 January 1952 / Adelaide, Australia)

Up Close - Poem by Rory Hudson

Most women are not beautiful
and most men not handsome
until you get up close, and see
the traces that time has left -
the lines leading from the eyes,
and the skin silently flaking
unknown, unacknowledged,
and the little irregularities
around the nose,
the false fleshiness of the ears
and the lips fading, beginning to dry and crack;
the hair that is untidy now,
unruly, and will not be prevented
from falling across the forehead
awkwardly into the eyes
(the subject winces and blinks
into the teary wind):
the eyes are softening,
no longer hard and bright
but mellowing into dimness as awareness waxes
and wanes again, a pale moon
making only faint shadows on the wrinkles now,
cold light across the face.

Come close, closer than you would like,
out of your comfort zone and into this,
and you will see and learn to love
the sad beauty of transient things
reflecting your own image
in the dark pupils of the eyes.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, March 15, 2009

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