Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reflection by Paul Tan

What is it about mirrors and mortality?
Is that why morning absolutions are best
conducted in the near dark? Each day,
you stare at yourself in this flipside world,
a necessary ritual in this rumour of normality.
Do you look for the obedient schoolboy
who deferred to elders and authority,
or reassure yourself that you are the same
person who went to bed the night before?
Do you measure the wiry whiskers,
detect new lines and count the hairs
that have broken away like weary leaves,
contemplating the great escape?
Or do you drown the awkward teen
who pursued perilous poetry,
the fit national serviceman with
the strained bravado and
search for some future self, half-fearing
the imminent portent, this age-old oracle?

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