It was a day just like today I remember,
Unseasonably mild for late in October;
The trees were still apparelled in splendid colours,
The shades of autumn, oranges and reds, rich browns,
And brilliant gold, a last defiant display,
Before winter took away their summer glory,
To leave them naked, stark against the horizon,
Or shrouded mysteriously in foggy gloom;
Only the sparkle of hoar frost on their branches
Or the first snowfall would grace them with new beauty,
On rare days of cold sunshine and clear azure skies.
The sky was a limpid blue, and fluffy white clouds
Drifted across its visage on the gentle breeze.
The pool was like an Impressionist masterpiece,
Its glassy surface a vibrant kaleidoscope,
Of many colours, reflections of trees and sky,
Its inner life concealed by their gaudy splendour,
Believing perhaps that it had no tale to tell
That might be of interest to the onlooker.
But as I watched I saw a circular ripple,
And then another, as unseen fish in its depths
Rose to the surface to catch the tiny insects
Dancing gaily in the early evening air,
Unaware of the hidden dangers awaiting them
In the dark water beneath their innocent flight.
I am now entering the autumn of my years,
And like the pool, my inner story lies concealed;
Many who meet me will never bother to look
Below the outer surface of age and decline,
Forgetting that a balding pate and greying hair
Hides a mind as keen and questioning as in youth,
And that beneath the wrinkled flesh and growing paunch
There beats a heart as passionate and romantic
As any teenager in the throes of first love,
And my hidden dreams are just as real and varied
As the rich life beneath the pool’s gaudy mirror.