“My glass shall not persuade me I am old,”*
though it sure convinces me now and then
when it does not so much flatter as scold.
But that photo of you Chris, about ten,
with your face painted white like a clown,
I treasure as young Adam did the garden
and Petula Clark did the song “Downtown,”
and Londoners do the bells of Big Ben.
Your clown captures the mystery of life,
its sadness and inscrutability,
and perhaps, beyond the storm and strife,
above all, its ineluctability.
That you lived only half as long as me,
your father, is my most painful memory.
*Shakespeare sonnet #22