The Boy’s Smile
There is an old mirror in the shower,
pitted and scaled with age.
Every time I try to cleanse myself of the day,
I catch an unsuspecting glance of myself
Caught in the act of ablution; I should be happy,
But my reflection remains dark.
I try to recall the boy in the bathroom mirror,
The one who would write his name in the foggy glass,
Who would use his father’s razor and pretend to shave,
The blood a mark of manhood, an effort to mature.
I would see that boy in my mind and smile,
But that smile was not shared by man in the mirror.
I try to wipe away the condensation, polish the glass
So the effects of age and use are smoothed out,
That the boy’s smile might be clearer,
So the man in the mirror can learn that easy grin.
Only after the glass has been cleaned do I learn
That the pitting and blemishes were never on the mirror,
But now the image is brighter, lines of memory and
Scars of exploits are in sharper relief.
In those lines I clearly see the path the boy traveled
To find the man. And finally, I find the boy’s smile.