Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Poetry Break: Souvenirs

About 20 years ago, my Marin County friend Carla Koop and I took the BART train from Berkeley to San Francisco and stolled about the North Beach area with no aim beyond enjoying the brilliant sun and cool sea breeze.

We stepped into a store selling antiques. Carla tried on a pair of old, wireframe eyeglasses and gazed into an antique mirror.

Despite her youth -- she was only 21 -- Carla suddenly seemed so 'ancient' that I was inspired to write this:


You look upon the world with antique eyes,
through intense lens, with more than innocence,
but only in this moment circumscribed
by shelves and shelves of other people's lives.
Let's peer into this mirror, you and I,
clear through the old and darkened glass. What past
perhaps reflects obscurely back on one
behind the silver-surfaced other side,
who gazes here with solemn, antique eyes?


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