KEY WEST PORTRAIT
In the first slow drops of rain,
the past was falling away.
Then the salty seabreeze came,
and the tropic cloud-parade.
The sun was covered with grey.
The beach grew dim and bare.
He watched the bathers stray,
till he alone stood there.
It seemed like long ago.
Like a view across the years.
But he had no sorrow to show.
He had spent it all in tears.
The lime that is slow to ripen,
is never too sweet, at all.
And the ageless soul is not frightened,
by shadows on the wall.
What he saw was his own weather -
something he long had known.
It fell like a drifting feather,
on the face like weathered stone.
There, in the quiet rain, he began to sing -
"Do not fear the years. They will make you strong.
The sorrow disappears, and leaves, in its place -