My Dad’s Never Had Plastic Surgery

My Dad’s never had plastic surgery;
He still has the face I’ll have at his age,
With all its history intact. He’s watched,
Over the years, his whole generation
Go under the knife; he was asked himself,
Once or twice, politely closing his door
As peer after peer went plastic before
His eyes. I was with him, one long evening,
When he channel-hopped the whole night away
Seeking a single contemporary
Who hadn’t done it. There was none, not one.
‘They’re mad,’ he said. ‘Madness.’ But it went on;
It goes on now! Club nights he sits alone,
Gaped at, with his authentic face gazing
Back. Every forehead around him glistens,
But not with sweat. His friends try to cajole him;
He refuses, though always sadly.
‘No, I won’t,’ he says, and still he hasn’t.


Published in The Rialto, 2011