Poem: In Sidelong Glances

We are seen and see the world, not with clarity, but from the weakness of our own position.

In Sidelong Glances

Lives that haven’t worked out
    as planned or hoped for
Something unforeseen, a blindsiding
    along the way to expectation
You see it every day on the metro,
    walking down the street,
    at corner tables where life
    can’t be found on the menu
    in any of four languages

The vacant eyes of plans gone wrong,
    or no plans at all
Measurement against too long,
    too tall, too fat or thin,
    too poor, too sad, unloved
    in a world of lovers
But we’re mostly seen in sidelong glances,
    from just across the room,
    where the perspective’s poorer yet

It’s not the reach, the length of arm,
    the skill for gathering that’s amiss
But the nature of us all, working it out,
    with a lingering sense we’ve come up short
By whose standards, who set my goal,
    if not my own wanting heart
    and who can put right what’s wrong,
    if not my voice, my mirror to
    relax the lines that etch my face
Poetry Collection: Corner of My Mind
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman's
poetry collection

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