In the mirror,
When I look,
I see the son of thousands.
I see the son of the foragers,
The wanderers who hunted the world,
The agrarians who farmed the fields,
The ones driven by famine to strange lands,
The ones taken in battle, enslaved and sold,
All those fathers, mothers and teachers.
Others looking into their mirrors
They see one face staring back,
Their own, their own two eyes,
Their own nose and their own hair,
Such as they have—or have not.
Men of short sight despite their stature,
Self-made men, blind to those thousands before
Without whose shoulders they would not there stand.
They have eyes, but they cannot see into their own depths,
Their vision shallow as the fog settling lower on the glass.
They see only the One they are now in that soppy looking-glass,
That steamy, silvered, steadfastly secured sheet sheathed in steel,
Framed or clamped, it matters not, it matters nothing—
Save for that face they see.
They cannot see what they are, where they have been,
The sufferings they have suffered, or the glories they have lost--
While they look into the mirror.
They see not at all
All those glories and terrors that have made them.
They see but a single reflection, this moment,
Their singular selves looking back.
Forgotten are the thousands of mothers who nursed them,
The thousands of fathers who protected them,
Hunted, killed, sowed and reaped,
And taught them to live, to survive.
They see not the thousands,
Wise and fools, slaves and free,
Conquerors and conquered
That are stitched into their very being,
That which makes them who they are.
But, for today, I see.
These eyes of mine, they see that army that I am.
The dead are not corpses, not dead in me this day.
They of the centuries, the millenia, the untold eras behind,
They stand here with me, in me.
I am the son of thousands,
I am the reflection of the reflection
In the mirror.
Copyright © James Fitz-Gerald | Year Posted 2018