Holding Back The Sea




By: Barbara Goodjoin

Gazing into the mirror at the reflection (all my own)

I smile and pout; wink my eyes

and try on a sexy frown.

Leaning in close, I look for lines around

my neck and eyes and mouth;

The signs of age that creep and pull

like the lunar moons gravity.

Holding back the hands of time

is as impossible as

 holding back the sea.

Looking at ageless women

on television and in magazines,

I think about the money they spend

to look like beauty queens.

Nips and tucks to pull the skin

Botox to numb and freeze;                

spanx to hide the dips and sags

and give the natural lift that lags.

A fem fatale at the age of eighty

looking like she is thirty-four

I can’t help but wonder

what she does when

aches and pains are at the door…

tell the maid to send them away

or pop a pill to escape—

perhaps pay someone to bear the pain–

there is the other possibility,

that they lock themselves behind closed doors

so that no one else can see…

that holding back the pain of age

is as impossible as holding back the sea.


Every now and then

reality breaks through—

a photo-shop fail, paparazzi sale

or mugshot shows the truth.

Make-up can hide–but

pictures don’t lie

It’s only themselves, they deceive

that holding back the creeping sign of age

is as impossible as holding back the sea.