Rugged Beauty

 Do you see the ancient beauty in her face?
Each  wrinkled line a story etched,
Wisps of white hair clean and long….
Oh, what stories must belong.

How many times has she been betrayed?
What loves in heart are harbored, stored and stay
As memories of long years now past,
Tears brimming in her eyes downcast.

Sit, Old Mother, in the rocking chair.
Let me pour a cup of sweet hot tea,
Give you jam upon a slice of bread,
While you tell me of your younger years.

May I sit face to face or at your feet,
Listen as you tell your story?
Speak and share with me, if you will.
Let us spend an hour together before sunset.

Teach me what your suffering has taught,
What have you learned that I have not?
I sense a multitude of sleepless nights,
Weight of worries, fears that adhere to you.

There is rough wisdom in your vacant stare,
Strength and courage as you look ahead,
Truth of suffering faced without pretence….
Patience gathered in your leathery hands.

The wounds you carry within your heart,
Make my heart open with tenderness.
Every breath I breathe brings close the pain;
Compassion grows, accumulates in veins.

Only as waters held within deep source are still
Can calm and undistorted light
Be reflected in your eyes,
Full moon dwelling, with no cold lies.

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