On Wrinkles

By Nell Smith

They are the first sign, a slip of the tongue in speech,
at the beginning of a story.
They are at the close, echoed in the imprints on sheets,
after life has slipped on.
Do you remember the ripples in the water when the wind touches it,
or in the sand dunes, the play between elements and earth?
You were there once, watching fiddler crabs …
Do you remember the mud, breaking and dividing, ready to receive the rain,
the corners of sage eyes, crinkling with laughter?
Those are the wrinkles I remember…
We turn from the furrows of dirt on skin, patterns from the sweat of work,
draw away from the creases in boots, leather worn from many miles.
We have done away with aging, reduced our elders to our old,
We have forgotten them,
And so, they forget themselves.

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