Poem: My Mirrored Self

Looking with as much honesty as is bearable, to the face that gazes back from my shaving mirror.

My Mirrored Self

It has to do with mirrors
    and we are a mirrored tribe
In other times we saw ourselves
    reflected in the eyes
    of wives and children
Those were the days
    our fortunes rose and fell
    like breath
Their smaller hands
    within our own

I saw myself just yesterday, shaving,
    looking pretty good
Knew damned well   
    I was keeping up, compared
    myself in corporate style,
    knew my quarterly report
    would show a profit
Felt compelled to discontinue
    research and development
    in search of further dividends

Forsaking something small and frail,
    to reach for grander stuff,
    my mirror you know,
    it sets these goals
    and I can but go along
My neighborhood’s a corporate zone,
    the competition fierce,
    I have to spend my child’s share in this
    or fall behind
    and so I take it running

He’ll forgive me,
    he’s a modern kid, aware
    of each contrived defense,
    in it too for short term growth
Or so I think when I stop,
    catching my reflected glance
So if the markets I’ve contrived
    should crash and burn,
    he’ll take it like a man
    and help pay off my loans

There’s really not a lot of choice,
    not easy ones at least
I keep up appearances,
    but they’re tougher every year
It’s not easy, but I try
    to slash and burn my way
It takes resources, guts
    to keep those paper-profits
    and the meek inherit

His legacy will be my credit cards,
    I really plan
    to pay them off
    before I’m done
But my mirrored self has many needs,
    beyond the limits
    of my cash, air that’s fit to breathe,
    my credit limit soaring
My mirrored self wishes him well,
    taking short-term profits
Poetry Collection: The Smell of Tweed and Tobacco
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman's
poetry collection


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