Face Value

Issue 

Face Value

Look at it this way.
Wrinkles are for use
not smoothing out.
If I were going to place
in a capsule for possible
aliens, a filmed face
to depict the human female
would I choose
an infant with truly
lovely womb-washed eyes
but little else?
While that featureless
unlined clone they would have us
believe is beauty
up there on the billboard sells
someone's lipstick, tells
of nothing.
Only this final face
nine decades in the making
records her
conversations with pain
confirms tears, laughter, courage
and when she smiles
see how the wrinkles join
all in a pattern
round the cheek to underline
and deepen the eyes
no prinking and plucking or
eye-shadowing could ever show
so well, twin pools mysterious
with hidden history and knowledge.
And finally, the human signature.
Those permanent grooves on the brow
like penstrokes on a parchment to
prove this face has
puzzled, thought, marvelled at
over and over and over.
Connie Frazer