Faces Back Then

By Dustin Down

We don’t understand faces any longer.
We don’t understand attraction—
Time was, back then,
when life was harsh.
Physically, it took a toll—
you were out there in it,
meshing with it and the cold hurt.
Too much smoothness frightened us,
but a rough, worn face,
a face that could take it all in
and keep it, then still move on,
that was a face that reassured.

So back then
everyone wanted a face like that—
Now the biggest concern
is knowing when and how to smile
so as not to show you’re so dumb
and that older face has gone out of style.
Everyone’s afraid they don’t quite fit in
and it shows in their faces.