Amazing how so much dust and grime
coat the surface of a wall mirror.
Lying on the floor, I could easily see,
but on the wall,
perpendicular to the floor,
how does that happen?
Science, of course, would explain it.
It’s not been cleaned
since I don’t know when.
My mother would have been
the last one to do so.
This cloudy, greasy buildup
of what, thirty years, is tenacious.
As I spray and wipe again and again,
I can envision my mom
checking the way she looks in it.
Hair, clothes, make-up, jewelry – all of it.
That’s easy to picture.
Appearance meant so much to her.
My dad?
He cared about his shoes,
polished them as if he were
still spit-shining them in the Army,
but he wouldn’t admire them in a mirror.
Clothes? I don’t recall if he
worried so much about his wardrobe.
What’s he checking then?
Something I dimly recollect
but can’t quite visualize.
Maybe how far away he was
from his reflection.
Maybe just assuring himself
he was still here.
Finally, the glass shines now as though
the mirror were mounted to the wall today.
I see myself so clearly in it now.
I wonder who will see me then?

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