as a mirror (poem)

I stand before you as a mirror
But not a perfect mirror, no
A piece of work rejected at the factory as flawed
Sold at a discount perhaps
Never framed, left around, moved here and there,
A corner chipped, then taped together
The silver peeled
Labeled ‘mirror’
Stained with fingerprints
Dirt adhered where gum from stickers long forgotten once stuck
Scratched by overzealous scrubbing
Tried to sell at a yard sale, unsold, given away
(I could not throw it away, it might make good art supplies)
Part of a growing collection of mirrors, no room, no room
I have others far better, some worse
I have written poems about this mirror; it would make a good movie, too
Fingernail polish makes a good paint
I have layered on other materials, too
I could not stop for the paint to dry
We stuck on other mirrors with little more than spit
It could not be moved or it might fall apart
There is no room to eat at the table, there is no time
Dinner doesn’t matter as much
The mirror must be layered, layered
With images of a kind
I do not see it as art just something that must be done
It must not be left undone
The mirror gives life meaning
What would I do without it
You may laugh and whisper but I do not notice and if I did I would not care
You may say that I can not separate myself from the mirror
But that is nonsense to me
I would not want to
The mirror is everything
Stand back make room I can not hear you shut up
What is the price of stopping?
I sharpen a knife to scrape away layer after layer and reapply pine needles
Please do not open the curtains, No!
There is no reason
To let outside life distract me
The life inside is life
I do not understand you, how can you have no mirror?

by DanShaw.com

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