When you’re young, appearance is everything,
because surface image is all you can see.
But the most beautiful birds often can’t sing
and ugly appears the honey bee.
As you grow older you learn that the surface often ripples,
and underneath lies calmer water, fierce currents,
and the older body is stifled and crippled
but the spirit thrives on what vision can’t haunt.
When you’re old and your body’s broken like time’s spine
and your hands have searched the many planes of existence
you learn that sweet was everything, especially the rimes
of the many people you met, how they gave you subsistence.
Your eyes have seen without willing ugliness, beauty’s fruit,
and you learned not to judge on appearance, because appearance is mute.
And you learned that it’s human to ponder just what might have been
if your mind had been more open, if you’d not resisted the stream.