THE SECRETS OF AGEING

 Whenever I look at your sweet sagacious face

Schooled artfully into childlike innocence

In your eyes I see that spark of accomplishment

And of mischievous omniscience that is telling,

And a sliver of guilt, so palpable and so moving

That I almost raise my eyebrows to my hair

But before I can fall into that old trap I resist

The urge to sigh and pardon any folly, any crime

For the fear of spoiling, I see the guilt is not as much

A subtle apology weighing down the conscience

As it is self-reproach for having been caught

And so, my lips twitch of their volition, before

I resume that stern face from practice and imitation

Of a memory when I used to be as old as you

And now I realize what I didn’t realize then

And what you don’t realize now, but one day –

One day, when you are as old as I am now

You will know it too; it was your naïve, wide, eyes;

Open windows, untainted, that spoke with abandon,

With those that could see right through your lies

– Akanksha Gupta