Age is creeping up the stone
dressed as lichen, paper thin,
the delicate rosettes slowly
eating into marble skin.
A symbiotic work of art …
was that the stone carver’s design—
the piece matured by nature’s hand—
or had he other plans in mind?
In time, too, the scars of mere
survival gnaw at our façades
until our ages are engraved,
and youth is just an old charade.
We could acid wash the stone
to rescue it, and try to slow
the certain steady grind of time …
or let the graceful lichens grow.