Poem: Ghost in the Glass

ghost in the glass.jpg

Ghost in the Glass

You see your reflection in the artwork,
all glass and wavey mirrors in the mall,
Angles and alcoves, a playhouse
with a ghost in its center,

You in a grey suit,
sharp, crisp cuffs and seams,
A bright red tie.
You look so comfortable in your skin,

Never broken, strong, confident, sure.

You wonder at the image.
How much is true? How much of it image?
How could you be so certain of yourself?
You were near fifty then, and incredibly nieve

Today you wear flannel and jeans.
Your scars show. Your pain shows.
You are less certain, and at the same time more.
There is strength in your brokenness,

something less glittery, more real,
less gossamer, more solid,
far less photogenic, but more conversational,
your willingness to be wrong more powerful

than you ever could have imagined.

About this poem

I stumbled on this old picture today, taken on the Mall in Washington, DC. That’s me in the reflection. It seems an age ago, that life. I’ve made a lot of choices since that day, some smart, some less so, but all of them all mine. What I am today, I would never have imagined then.

Of course, I have more imagination now than then. In ways, I am older. A quick look in a mirror confirms that. But in other ways, I am younger. I am content, and that is a rare thing, I have learned.




  1. Tom, I really do like how you share your “About this poem”
    It says so much more about your poem and puts it all in context!
    Great poem, though!

    • I have been writing poetry for 30 years plus, and one thing people always say is that they don’t understand it. So I began these little tidbits at the end to help with that. Sometimes I think my notes are more popular than my poems!

  2. Sometimes I have to wait a while to catch up on what has accumulated in the ‘in’ box. Today ,it was all pleasure. I still love the intros and the photos. And I always share the ones that really hit close to home. Thank you for sharing the path.
    Skip M.

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