MIrrors Have Moved Up In The World


I don’t know when,
mirrors were
still pools of water
and the faces in them
downcast, eyes glowing
in reflected light.
When we first learned
how we looked
it was as
thinkers, mourners,
cradlers of sleepy
children. In this
humbled curve
we discovered our
own surprised selves
in unexpected
ponds, saw there
our naked souls.

Now mirrors have
moved up in the world.
We peer in, eye to eye,
shoulders back, a photo
booth’s rectangular frame.
We preen our feathers
and imagine how
the world must meet us.
This reflection is hard
as ice, as diamond;
no curious fingertip
can turn the surface
to soup or circles
or drop in a shell
to listen for its depth.
The image returns
impassively and we
cannot wet our hands in it
or take a piece in palm
to scrutinise
and scatter.

Some empowerment
program’s elevated
mirrors to Wall Status.
Now they’re immune
to dirty feet,
to fishing nets
and worn-out rags.
Whatever tears
or snarls they witness
there’s no change
in temperature.
Folds of shawls
no longer hang towards
but drop down
To bow our heads
we lose sight
of this vision.
In steel the mirrors
have become
our equals.

3 thoughts on “MIrrors Have Moved Up In The World

  1. Hardening of self-image,
    harbinges suffering
    because like glass
    we cannot flex ourselves.

    Shatterproof means
    the mirror won’t explode
    but, under stress, crack
    into a brittle scree.

    No longer reflective,
    impassively milky
    like a blind eye
    staring back.

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