The inkless tips of my eyesight’s pen
trace these lines upon your neck;
browse these time-stamp strands of lace
stealthily dispersed round your face.
Traveler, I shrink and fade in, course
over blown pathways on flesh contoured.
Why, these footpaths glimmer some;
today, as often, they stir recalls
of a hundred trips, of warm shared dreams
and laughter, and pains, and common meals.
Much more rebound off these marks here
than a single page could fully share.
But I glimpse garlands in the wrinkling weave
of these growing lines that so reveal
debt prints left by so many who,
like me, have owed so much to you.
So, wear them proud, friend, until soon,
He’ll crown us with eternal youth.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, DEAR RUTH!