The face has worn off, the victim
of age and dampness, and the light is dim.
There is algae growing on the wall,
fed by leaking springs and the late day sun
that leaks through the one door way
that has not been closed in
by the debris of thousands of years.
The fountain no longer dances
merrily, but holds instead, the barest
drips that leech through the stone facing
and glisten. Still,
somehow there is magic,
like an old woman whose face
still reflects the passion of the coquette
she once was, or your own heart,
weary from the abuse of time, yet somehow
still soaring when confronted with this place of magic,
still certain that beauty is not fleeting or fickle,
but something shining, and more than that,
The picture was taken on Palatine Hill, in Rome, in a grotto next to the gardens, overlooking the Roman Forum. You can click on it for a larger version.