Lines on a Face

Photo by Val Dela Vedova on Pexels.com


Lines on a Face

Can be read
Stand with me
In the shadows
In the light
Perhaps we’ve forgotten how to be an open book
I wouldn’t speak for you
Because I can’t

Once when I was young
I fingered the rivers on my mother’s skin, stretched taut
Followed the blue pathways on a thirty something’s hand
Felt her age pulsing in her coursing veins
I read age like the blind read a page
My eyes partnered with my child-hands
Teamed up to untangle her mysteries
Heard her body tell the story of a half-life
Plus some

As we sat on a pew that was ours for an hour on Sunday
Nine/tenth’s of the law
And all

In the pews of Methodism, souls lined up to hear
Truth be told
I could not hear hers
Buried deep within her soul

Mink eyes on the face of a fashionable wrap
Thrown over the shoulders of a worshipper
Stared back at me
Two pews up and to the left
I thought of his sacrifice for status and beauty
(The things of nightmares when you are ten)
And I think of that still
Her sacrifices too
Draped in death

I found the mink eyes
Meet my hazel eyes
Frozen
Motionless
Dipped in death
I looked elsewhere and then I looked back

Lips were red
Injection-less
Skin was powdered and rouged
Nineteen sixty something
And hairspray lingered in the air

Life lines
Seek a safe place to preach the stories they have lived

Stand still at the lectern of life

And speak
Face the music

Face it
I cannot speak for you

Once, when I was young
The stories could be read

By looking there
Buried deep within the soul
Clues lined up, from chin, to cheek to brow
To help untangle
The mystery of life lived
Well
I cannot speak for you

I long to read you as a book
Open
To tell the stories that should be read
In the lines on a face

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4 thoughts on “Lines on a Face

  1. Oh my goodness!!!! This is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!! I love it!!! Especially this… “Life lines… Seek a safe place to preach… The stories they have lived”. I just turned 72, and I find myself seeking that safe place to share… Someone that hears from the heart. I found myself wanting it to go on and on, it just kept reaching into deep places in me. Maybe a book? 😃💜

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