In that time when my face was whole,
love thought it knew my heart;
but when you wore my face to holes,
love found some missing parts.

Like all veneers, so lips will chip,
as surface roughs, so cheek;
so me who craved your covering hips
the bones as hard as teak.

I let the sky now hold my face
let blue through gap and tear,
and, in the night, the stars find space
to slip light through the wear.

And though my skin no more is whole
love loves with all my heart;
and though what’s me slips through the holes,
I love with each lost part.


Draft draft draft poem, for my own prompt on Real Toads to write about no more–here I’ve also tried to think of some of Byron’s rhythms.  I’ve been thinking about this poem for the last couple of days and this version (just now come up with) excludes a few stanzas and takes it in a different direction.  If anyone is interested in process or just likes to give free advice,  I am happy to post other stanzas/versions. 

The pictures above and below are from the wonderful Pergamon exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (Hellenistic statues from Turkey.)   The poem is not ekphrastic, but I do like the pics, which set me on the track of the poem.  All rights reserved. 


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20 Comments on “Face”

  1. Rosemary Nissen-Wade Says:

    Ha – sad and witty at once, and almost metaphysical.

  2. That speaks to me maybe in a way you didn’t intend but I find it so lovely, so true, so where I am right now.
    “and though what’s me slips through the holes
    I love with each lost part.” Oh,my

  3. This rings so true, the aging told with a very light hand, we might chip, but our core remain… Great rhymes throughout,

  4. I really like the rhythm, and the sense of reclaiming evoked by the last stanza.

  5. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Karin, this is such a stunning expression of emotion and heart-break. I just love the 3rd stanza.. the sky held face is a beautiful image, and the last contains the best remedy for love lost: to love on regardless, even if it means turning one’s face to someone else.

  6. Jim Says:

    It’s nice to see as we remember, isn’t it? When we look closely there are now, maybe were a few then, gaps and holes. Some will tear the relationship apart, others are like love bumps.
    Teeth and all (missing parts)? I am getting mostly new uppers come the 25th. That will please Mrs. Jim, perhaps me.

  7. hedgewitch Says:

    Really flawless work with the metaphor here, k–very satisfying and lovely, to heart and to ear.

  8. Mama Zen Says:

    Beautifully done, K.

  9. Helen Dehner Says:

    A beautiful poem, I read it through and knew I had to read it aloud. Unbelievable how it slipped from my lips. Sigh.

  10. It speaks to me of aging…how life chips away at plump cheeks, full heart. Beautiful

  11. Oh, K…I just love the slivers of sky that show through and the love loving…all those lost parts…so wholly beautiful!

  12. “I love with each lost part.” Love that last line! A stunning write!

  13. Strong, as in intense. I loved it. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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