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.