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Already you are old, and I am too.
Let’s join old age, embrace the time we’ve found,
and make of winter’s shiver warmer ground
and milder spring, as much as we can do.

A man is never old who does not know
he is—he shifts his course at the year’s new seams,
weaves new thread into his cloth and seems
a snake who sheds his skin to feel his glow.

Remove this crust of impudence disguised.
The laws of nature cannot be revised,
nor wrinkles contradict the mirror’s glare,

nor falling breasts rise up when they are bare.
Time will tear the mask off when you’re drawn,
and the black crow I was will be a swan.

—Terese Coe