Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Saving Face

Years ago his skilled fingers would
reshape wounded heroes,
make a face worth living with again.

He rescued people from childhood
deformity, ravaging disease
to face the world anew.

Now the surgery fills with ageing
prima-donnas, forgotten actors,
last minute’s discarded It girls,

Clamouring for attention, for
nips and tucks to buy
back a plastic copy of their youth.

He pulls back living flesh
creating hollow masks
from which old eyes will stare.

His fingertips do not have the skill
to heal away their
paralysing fear of life itself.

Previously published in Poetry Scotland

Transformation for Totally Optional Prompts

21 comments:

Semi said...

NICE Blog :)

polona said...

indeed, it's the minds of those people, not their flesh that needs healing...
excellent

paisley said...

excellent!!! what a perfect choice of subject matter...

Noah the Great said...

Am I the only guy who thinks age is beautiful?

Stan Ski said...

Society has so much to answer for

Greyscale Territory said...

Love the line "plastic copy of their youth".

A well-worked write!

Gemma

Jo said...

Yes, I like plastic copy of youth too.

anthonynorth said...

I put it down to being too material as a society. Not enough spirituality, or bonding with others, nature or - most importantly - cycles.

gautami tripathy said...

Great take on the prompt! This asks good questions. Materialism has taken over healing and no one seems to care about any more!

changling

Richard said...

oooh, oooh, oooh, and wasn't it a long way down. what happened to this gifted surgeon that he left the saving work to repair the prima donnas et al? and how is he saving his own face?

mariacristina said...

Noah, you're awesome.

So many images here are very strong. I also like:
creating hollow masks
from which old eyes will stare

I like the questions this poem raises about attitudes concerning age, death, and beauty, and values in general. Great work!

Leigh Lear said...

nicely done

Mary J. said...

So good. Love the plastic copy of youth and the last stanza.

mary said...

No wait, visit my other blog for poetry.

SweetTalkingGuy said...

How true! The last line really sums up the whole thought.. Nice one.

Ofira Sephiroth said...

Growing old is a gracious gift that some people will never embrace. Great use of imagery.

Scot said...

great poem and statement. and when he is asked what have you done lately for the children...?

Aareet Krsna said...

Brilliant - contrast and narration

Annie said...

What a fine injection (if you will forgive the pun) of reality. Sad that so many have forgotten the idea of growing old gracefully.

Felicity said...


"His fingertips do not have the skill
to heal away their
paralysing fear of life itself. "


Such a perfect way to conclude.
Very thought-provoking.

gardenpath said...

I love this blog!

You hit the nail on the head with this poem. The old eyes stanza gave me the shivers. Really nice, Juliet.