When from blank swathes of canvas I learned
To ask: 'How do I seem to mine own eyes?'
First to nature’s mirror, water, I turned,
And besought the lake to tell me no lies.
So earnestly for all the truth it strove,
It trembled: and into shifting ripplets
Parcelled my face; into prominence drove
Now eyes, now nose, now mouth, now hair-ringlets.
Stricken, I sought then man’s mirror of glass,
Melted sand silvered to limpidity,
And taxed in its self-shaped prison to pass
Back each eye its rays with alacrity
So I looked: but found only the dulled gaze
Of a wrinkled stranger; my cold shiver
Cried: is it thus you see me in your glaze
Or how I see myself in the mirror?
Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, a teacher of French as a foreign language and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in The Mojave Heart Review, Third Wednesday, Petrichor, and a number of other literary magazines.
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