Time is a Crooked Thing

from The Light Tears Loose


    We have to break the mirror to be ourselves. –May Sarton

Though silver and exact, the mirror has no memory.
No stop or start or rewind. Each day an exercise
in remembering who I am. Unremarkable, ordinary,
day unravels into day – brief bliss or grief to cling, to sift through,
to find myself again. Lines deepen, shadows darken,
and we must lean closer, ever closer to see.
Photos flaunt the proof. Had I shattered that mirror
when it first exposed the truth,
I could have hoarded the image of youth, the one my brain
still imagines, though my body begins its betrayal.
Squatting for the dropped sock, stooping to tie the shoe,
the petty aches and pains when cold weather comes,
when dawn silvers the sky with dew – oh, oh, I should have known
when the wren stopped singing the day was done.