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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