Ah, dear me…this morning

I found written in the mirror

My payment for time and success:

All the miles I've traveled

Lie mapped across

My face, and such a

Dead white tinge that

Lingers.

I look in the mirror and see that

I am no longer a young man.

I suppose I thought myself handsome…

He called me prim but

Had he seen really seen what pains I took

I think he would have laughed.

---

(I did see the pains he took,

but I did not laugh;

I merely hid the words)

---

The crispest collar cannot distract

From the grey in my hair

The smartest suit will not deceive—

My shoulders are sloped too sharply, weak…

---

(he will always be strong to me…

the weaker he grows, the stronger he is.

his undying strength is in

his eyes)

---

I don't suppose I am immortal

Even the more intense fires die in the end

Perhaps they even burn out faster.

I always knew my reign would end, yet—

I cannot concede to be an ember.

---

(Ember or flame,

I will stand between you and

every wind.)