It is growing more common for men
of a certain age, one I have attained,
to grow beards, and that was before
the pandemic made them ubiquitous
among those of the male gender.
I noted this aloud and a young child
smiled at me and said, “of course,
you have to have a beard because
the hair inside your head has to go
somewhere other than your bald head.”
More than a bit ratty, would be
mildly putting it, near bald
almost everywhere, fully so
in far too many spots to count.
Eyelashes are minimal, hard
to see for their fineness, one
eye a bit out of focus, a faint
cloud covering its internal horizon.
You might say it is sad looking,
and no one, not even I would
argue with you, but what did
you expect really, time is cruel,
so in the morning mirror, my
childhood stuffed cat in hand,
we agree we wear our 67 years
on our sleeves and faces.
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He’s mostly bald
and generally something of a grouch.
When he enters a room, the key
is to nod in recognition
but not in invitation.
You know, regardless
of the topic at hand,
he will have something
to say and it, no matter how
you perfume it, will nevertheless
have that air of negativity
he has so ably mastered.
So many others, and especially you,
have perfected the art
of deflected avoidance,
at least until that moment
you come face-to-face with him
in your morning mirror.
Once I was
six foot four
with long blond hair
I woke up.
Now in the mirror
five foot six,
middle aged man
only to return
to the me
of my dreams.