In a land made believable, a looking-glass
was subjected to looks and stares from faces
that artfully distracted distant cares.
So, the looking-glass discreetly stared back
and deflected their prayers. And reflected
on how, behind the procession of faces,
a swathe of silent, invisible figures
drifted about the room and were never mentioned.
Or seen. The outlook was bleak.
Instead, it was make-up eyed in shadow,
forever blinking in the blinding light.
The blanket that had been draped over
the looking-glass and used to protect it
had long since fallen beyond embarrassment.
It could no longer cover the pane
of smeared messages left since the journey
from the polished manufacturer.
The looking-glass had borne witness.
And had dutifully faced the veneer of the world.
But no lacquer, no spray could smooth the looking-glass.
It only misted over the flawed breaths.
Outside the window, the looking-glass saw
a coat had been scraped off the back of a poor soul,
who could not face this land anymore.
The coat had been nailed to a flapping scarecrow
propped in a worn, fallow field.
The looking-glass had eyed all this frenzied activity
with the air of one glazed beyond mirroring.
This land was, indeed, a strange place:
a place where ruthless scarecrows were better dressed
and showed more naked ambition
than the poor souls who lacked possession.
A place where no one dared to look out
of the window, in case a soulful expression
made a face that stared back accusingly.
Instead, drawn by the lure of the looking-glass,
the faces posed and preened, masquerading
as themselves. The looking-glass simply continued
to reflect back with the required distortion.
But also viewed how, when too much rouge leaked out,
shards of shattered faces fell to earth.
Frantic, featureless and easily broken,
the faces would then reassemble themselves,
before a watchful, patrolling look-out
dutifully glued back their cold, brittle eyes.
They had looked directly into the sun
and so the pretence of blinded sight continued.
No one faced the window or saw the poor souls
manifested behind them in the room anymore,
because, as the looking-glass considered
upon reflection, the room was full of scarecrows.