When I first started teaching at my current school, I was 32, and the mamas of the Upper School students looked matronly to me. Now 30 years later, the students’ mamas look like jail bait, and those very first students I taught look matronly.
Which begs the question, what do I look like?
Click arrow above for sound.
For every tatter in its mortal dress . . .
Now, when the man in the mirror stares back,
it’s not my father I see,
but old WH Auden himself,
that mask of overindulgence,
pocked and puckered,
eyes rheumy, cross-hatched with red,
the tattered, bruised bags beneath
stuffed with hobo rags – used t-shirts,
yellowed boxers – plus a half pint of rot gut —
artifacts of excess, of bad habits
embraced like brothers,
boon companions for many a year.