Reflections on Reflections

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The young ones I watch are so often
double-seen. While I glance at them,
they’re often examining themselves,
scanning windows, mirrors, maybe even
their phones, for reflections upon
their relative appearance.
In a world made compact enough to fit
in their pockets, I shouldn’t be
surprised at the tightness of their
self-focus. But that’s the nature
of youth, if I recall. Didn’t you
at least sneak many an assessing
side-glance at yourself in some
honest piece of glass when you wore
your hair so long and you your skirts so
succinctly short?

I stopped such severity of my self-view
when the pain of getting out of bed
matched the pain of seeing a world
gone to hell. When my concern for
the thickness of my lawn equaled
that for the thinness of my hair.
When the number of inches around
my waist overran the number of candles
on my pyromaniacal birthday cake.
When I was the only one left watching me.
And then today, when I left off my glasses
and never wiped the steam from the mirror
when I shaved in the dark.

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