Skin

Obedient daily dress,
You cannot always keep
That unfakable young surface.
You must learn your lines -
Anger, amusement, sleep;
Those few forbidding signs

Of the continuous coarse
Sand-laden wind, time;
You must thicken, work loose
Into an old bag
Carrying a soiled name.
Parch then; be roughened; sag;

And pardon me, that
I Could find, when you were new,
No brash festivity
To wear you at, such as
Clothes are entitled to
Till the fashion changes.

by Philip Larkin

Other poems of LARKIN (93)

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