R. S. Thomas - It Is One Of Those Faces

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R. S. Thomas reads his poem It Is One Of Those Faces

It Is One Of Those Faces
by R. S. Thomas (1913-2000)

It is one of those faces
beginning to disappear
as though life were at work
with its eraser. It drizzles
at the window through which
I regard it. As one realising
its peril, it accosts me
in silence at every corner
of my indifference, appealing
to me to save it gratuitously
from extinction. There was a moment
it became dear to me, a skull
brushed by a smile as the sun
brushes a stone through ravelled
passages in the hill mist.
Must I single it with a name?
I am coming to believe,
as I age, so faithful its attendance
upon the eye’s business, it is myself
I court; that this face, vague
but compelling, is a replica
of my own face hungry for meaning
at life's pane, but blearing it
over as much with my shortness
of faith as of breath.