smoke and mirrors

smoke-and-mirrors2
I thought about buying a mirror,
nothing fancy,
old, long and slender,
but reflective.

I don’t mind if the edges are chipped,
or if a crack runs through it,
reminds me of myself.

I remember the hours spent in front of it,
a boxer has to stare at themselves for hours on end,
most people become vain when they do so,
not us,
we grow weary,
we see the ugly,
we see the worst of ourselves,
but we don’t wallow there,
we fix it.

We toil with blood and mucous,
acid filling our bones,
muscles imploding with calcium drop after calcium drop,
sweat, stench and metallic tongues,
what a delight, what a treat.

What, you thought we were just made violent?
The act of violence takes a lot of abuse against yourself,
until you don’t recognise a self,
you stop being human,
and start being just a data bank,
with lightening recollection of information,
relevant to the pinnacle of abuse.

So here I am,
stuck at the dichotomy of awareness and neglect,
wondering,
should I buy that mirror,
or, should I pick it up off the side of the road,
and erect it in my garage,
for my son.

Do I want him staring at himself,
do I want him wondering in and out of self abuse?
How does a father reconcile nurture and punishment,
how does a father,
pass on manhood,
and womanhood,
with the same breath,
with the same clenched fist?

How am I to show him,
how to grasp a man’s throat,
and hold dear life between the vice grip of his claws,
recognising the inches it takes before death,
and knowing the look in a man’s eyes,
when their ego is removed,
so as to release your clutch,
and with those same hands tending to roses,
plucking olives from trees,
covering a seedling with enough soil,
for water, breath and light.

How do I do all these things son,
without you looking back,
to blame me for too little or too much?

How do I teach you,
that the purpose of a mirror,
is to stare at yourself long enough,
to see the ugly,
and fix it.

W.E.

2 thoughts on “smoke and mirrors”

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