Don't Mistake Your Mirror for a Window on the World by Ken Stange
A reflection is both a thought about the world and the image we see in the mirror. -- Hippokrites
Consider your daughter's first smile.
You imagine it aimed at you
but it is not you she sees;
she has no 'you'
in her visual vocabulary.
Those are two circles
and that an upturned arc
you are only a warm geometry
a comfort like the spherical dark.
She is smiling at herself
for everything is still part
of her, the world
an extension of her body --
no more, nor less
recalcitrant than her arm as she swats at toys.
Her smile is simply a physiological
So what is it then (you ask)
when you reflexively smile back?
Another of Ken Stange's poems, "Don't Trust the Distance Markers," is found in this posting from October, 2010.