The Twinkle

The best photograph
of my grandfather
is his army picture.

It is of a man
I never knew.
A young man with
movie star good looks.
A beautiful young face
so full of life.
The camera loves him.
He beams and charms.
His eyes twinkle.
He wears his uniform
with so much pride.

The man I know now
is very different.
He is a sad man
worn down by age
and bad decisions.
He does not much resemble
the young charmer
in the photograph
about to become a soldier
and a father.

All the flash and fire
in that young man’s eyes
is long gone.
But I do recognize
The Twinkle.
It’s still there.
I know that twinkle well.