The poet is a mirror

Look—the poet can’t help but be a mirror, 
and the mirror can’t be anything but honest.
The truth can’t help but be elusive,
and this is why smoke is mirror’s partner-in-crime.
Crime is only criminal in context,
and shifting context is as simple as looking
from a different angle.
Angles aren’t all resolute; some are skewed or at least skew-able
by a too-tightened screw or squinted eye.
The poet knows this, and she
uses it to her advantage: slipping through
the unsealed cracks
or locking herself in a round white room
where her black-ink words and her blue-ink words and her red-ink words
all ripple and roll from floor to ceiling
til the once-blank walls are smothered in kaleidoscopic thought.
As any kaleidoscope knows,
you have to look in order to see it
but after every trembling change, it’s gone.
‘It’ being, of course,
the reflection of the reflection’s reflection.
That’s why the poet is a mirror
and also a photograph—a racketeer of reality.
She can make this old colored glass look young again.
Right there, right there, right there.


  1. Aww. How I love this perspective. Thanks for sharing and a ton of congratulations today on NaPoWriMo. Yay! So glad. Wouldn’t have landed here otherwise, so I’m extremely grateful for this feature section every day. Lovelovelove this website. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Elizabeth – belatedly I realise – but I just read your poem and I love it. The image of being in a round white room and writing all over its “walls” blows me away. It’s exactly that. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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