Have you noticed how we grow old -
not gradual shifts.
our features stay the same for years,
then time careers
touch turns hair grey, wrinkles our skins,
adds second chins.
Shocked friends compare,
trying not to stare.
The inner clock plays the same tricks -
it barely ticks
ten years, or more,
then jumps a score.
Others may spot the headline stoop,
missing the scoop:
what’s changed, inside.
But you can’t hide
from consciousness the brutal, swift
sight of the rift
ahead - too deep
this time, to leap . . .
First published in Snakeskin 242, July 2017