A Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

Poem by Barbara Lydecker Crane

You tell yourself you’re good at what you do,

at least according to your friends and those      

who’ve credited your artwork in review.

Portrait painting decades now, you chose    

this work (which even then was out of fashion)

because each likeness you could bring alive  

would spur you to another. But now your passion  

ebbs, as restlessness and age connive.

Why don’t you close your eyes to see in dreams 

all other genres you once found enthralling?

Detach and step outside the frame that seems

to hold you flat, and take this as your calling:

enliven years of time’s diminishing

with youthful joy a change of work might bring.