I've looked back and found I've cheated;
my memory lapsed and I allowed
a cluster of lines to be used twice.
Now, that's not on; needs examination
as if it were a repeated dream.
“A patina of time”: that sounds O.K.,
white hair, wrinkles and, as well,
I display scars from fighting life's battles.
“The enduring years”: now, that's wrong;
it is not the years that endure
but roll on one after another,
the way years do. I'm the one
who's had to endure life's vicissitudes.
“The mind's bright mirror”: who wouldn't
As an image for life, fair enough,
despite the implicit teleology.
Not aimless, not arbitrary,
but promising meaning at journey's end.
I can see why I used it twice.
Hope, not strong enough for faith,
but, for all that, worthy of love.