MY FACE VS. THE WATCH

FIGURE 38.2

MY FACE VS THE WATCH

“At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”
George Orwell

I looked at old pictures last night
And saw my younger face.
The one I had forgotten
So used to the one I have now.
Which is the one I deserve, they say.

My brain looks smooth there too
Less wrinkled by the wear and tear
And then I looked at my watch
To rewind time
And its face was smooth as well.

I couldn’t rewind time or refresh my mind
So I simply watched the movie backward
Eighteen year old slightly skinny in a long coat (you love that one)
Twenty-two year old smoking a cigarette at a friend’s window
Femme fatale

The face I deserved then:
Almond-shaped smooth Virgin Mary holiness
(They never show the Virgin Mary in old age)
What face does a saint deserve?
Face value
Do I deserve a face-lift?

Avec le temps va, tout s’en va…
The face I deserve now :
Certain drooping of the eyelid
Discreet pouches under the eyes
Serious frown lines
Plis d’amertume (and resting bitch face)
The beginning of jowls
The occasional pimple among the wrinkles
An air of Maturity!

This is the face I will want in ten years, they say
Depending on the light I imagine
(Did I want the face I had ten years ago?)
Maybe I should start taking selfies
In dim holy candlelight from now on.

 


 

MON VISAGE CONTRE LA MONTRE

“À 50 ans, tout le monde a le visage qu’il mérite.”
George Orwell

J’ai regardé de vieilles photos hier soir
Et j’ai vu mon visage plus jeune.

J’avais oublié celui-là
Tellement habitué à celui que j’ai maintenant.
Celui que je mérite, ils disent.

Mon cerveau semble lisse là aussi
Moins ridé par l’usure
Et puis j’ai regardé ma montre
Pour rembobiner le temps
Et sa face était lisse aussi.

Je ne pouvais pas rembobiner le temps ni rafraîchir mon esprit
Alors j’ai simplement regardé le film en arrière
Dix-huit ans, légèrement maigre dans un long manteau (la photo que tu aimes)
Vingt-deux ans, fumant une cigarette à la fenêtre d’une amie
Femme fatale

Le visage que je méritais alors:
En forme d’amande lisse, la sainteté de la Vierge Marie
(Ils ne montrent jamais la Vierge Marie dans la vieillesse)
Quel visage mérite un saint?
Valeur nominale
Est-ce que je mérite un lifting?

Avec le temps va, tout s’en va …
Le visage que je mérite maintenant:
Certain tombant de la paupière
Poches discrètes sous les yeux
Graves lignes de froncement de sourcils
Plis d’amertume (et face de chienne au repos)
Un début de bajoues
Et l’occasionnel bouton parmi les rides
Un air de maturité!

C’est le visage que je voudrai dans dix ans
En fonction de la lumière, je pense
(Est-ce que je voulais le visage que j’avais il y a dix ans, vingt ans?)
Peut-être que je devrais commencer à prendre des selfies
A la lueur de cierges, à partir de maintenant.

 

*

 

Illustrations from:https://entokey.com/the-aging-face/
Figure 38.2 A, This painting by William Scrots (1546) displays the young teenage future matriarch, Elizabeth, with a full face and flawless skin. B, This portrait painting by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (late 1590s) of an older Queen Elizabeth I depicts marked facial weathering and volume loss with a thinning face and extensive rhytid formation.

3 thoughts on “MY FACE VS. THE WATCH

  1. For months I have been savoring your musings, insightful reflections, and poems – bilingual tours de force where sometimes the French and English versions are complementary and thus seem one piece rather than text and translation. As I look in my own mirror and find a face “beated and chopped with tanned antiquity”, this post hits home and consoles all at once. Marvelous!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s