Pressed

I ironed my slacks this morning

and then my shirt, and wondered

why the fuss? What, pray tell,

is wrong with wrinkles?

When he crinkles his nose,

how is that not as appealing

as the smooth face of the stoic

or smile lines of the aged chief?

Why is one grandmother,

spared from time’s unenviable tracks

by her own gene pool, complimented

while the other is pitied for the well earned

folds that testify to her endurance?

The scarce commodity of time

creates its own type of pressing.

But if you want to see what pressing

actually does, just ask Giles Cory

or the great criminals of

of Greek and Roman mythology,

such as the Judas-like Tarpeia who

betrayed Rome for a necklace.

Sit with me at the school

conference table with a parent.

When she begins a line of questioning

and her eternal condemnation unfurls

as she lifts the great stone

of judgment above her head

readying for the drop,

her offspring remains inert–

not realizing that he could leave the table,

go outside, breathe fresh air,

save his life, remain beautifully himself–

wrinkled a bit, but beautiful.

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