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To My Children, As I Grow Old - Visitor's Poem

by Rene Bartolo
(Davao City, Philippines)

Love is not a word that falls
From careless, casual lips;
Love is not a warmth that stalls
On frozen fingertips.

Love is not a hurried kiss
On an old and puckered brow;
It is not to say: €œI miss ...
I miss you, Dad, somehow.€

Not a lukewarm smile or glance,
Not a reckoning of years,
Not a caring left to chance -
Not a memory of tears.

Love is seeing sparks of light
In the eyes now dull and stern;
It is coloring my night
With your crayons of concern.

Love is letting pass the pains
From a cutting word or two;
For the anger that remains
Is more at me than you.

The rage of age that soaks
My remaining years, my Child,
Is the insecurity that cloaks
My love for you inside.

Touch me, Child, upon my cheeks
With your youth, as I grow old;
Love me, Child, as I loved you
When my world was young and bold.


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