Life’s Mirror


An illustration from page 30 of Mjallhvít (Sno...
An illustration from page 30 of Mjallhvít (Snow White) an 1852 icelandic translation of the Grimm-version fairytale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Life’s Mirror Is a Friend or Two

 

“You’re incompetent!” he screamed as he sat in his chair,

 

But, oh, how he wished that mirror wasn’t there.

 

He wanted to look regal perched on a throne,

 

But that was impossible when his friends were gone.

 

Tears splashed down his cheeks

 

As he stared up into the sky,

 

“How can my friends show respect

 

To such a fool as I?

 

Throughout my life there was much,

 

I wanted to say and do,

 

I wanted to be a good Samaritan,

 

I’d help someone, it didn’t matter who.

 

I thought I’d take trips to exotic  places

 

But I chose to work instead,

 

By then I had a growing family,

 

and the children needed bread.

 

How can I prove I’m a cultured man?

 

I haven’t traveled very far,

 

All my knowledge is about small town folks,

 

I never claimed to be a star.

 

I thought I’d try to be an example

 

Of how a man should be,

 

But I’ve failed every time with even my best,

 

Because all you get is me.”

 

 

 

He had been confessing to a mirror,

 

That he’d failed every worldly task,

 

“What’s wrong?” I ventured through the open door,

 

Yet I had no need to ask,

 

The old man was surprised to see someone he knew,

 

I considered myself a friend,

 

“I’ve been listening for quite some time,

 

Your self pity needs to end.

 

You’ve raised five kids all alone,

 

You took that burden in stride,

 

I don’t know about the rest of your friends,

 

But I think of you with pride.

 

You coached several teams in summer leagues,

 

You taught some kids to drive,

 

You were there to greet strangers,

 

When they were anxious and newly arrived.

 

You helped families who lost their homes,

 

Or anyone out of luck,

 

Even when you were stretched real thin,

 

Somehow you found a few bucks.

 

You might think you did things wrong,

 

I think you did things right,

 

There’s a crowd gathering in the dark,

 

Could I welcome them in with the light?”

 

One single line came through the door

 

and seemed to stretch for miles.

 

Each person had something good to say,

 

and ended their comments with a smile.

 

“We wanted you to know we learned from you,

 

We always knew your love was wide.

 

All the love we have for you

 

We can no longer keep inside.”

 

The old man’s eyes grew large and dark,

 

He glanced around the hall,

 

“Thank you, my friends, for loving me,

 

For you know I love you all.”

 

He shook the hands of all and each,

 

It filled his heart with pride,

 

Then because he had been deeply touched,

 

He lowered his head and cried.

 

 

 

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