Under the beautiful mask
Is there a wonderful face?
The skin of their necks looks delicious
Youthful and covered in kisses
Her fingers bejewelled with stars
His thumb on her wrist is possessive.
His cravat is ironed and starched.
I can only see his dark eyes.
The crowds, the music, the singing,
The laughter that echoes on walls,
Amplified by the water, where the gondola rocks on ropes.
This postcard fell from my sketchpad.
It fell on the floor as I drew.
I have never been to Venice and probably never will.
In the old people’s home, my daughter makes sweet conversation
While I draw the old people’s hands.
Hands tightly clasped.
Fingers plucking at cloth.
Hands hanging limp from the wrists.
A hand leaned against a forehead partially covering eyes.
Rings hang loose on old bones
In a room with a faded carpet and a circle of straight-backed chairs.
The faces are lined and creased.
Sunken lips. Fleshless cheeks.
Sans taste, sans sight, sans sound.
Masking the beauty of youth.
‘Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything’ Shakespeare, ‘As You Like It’