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it could have been the blank, mute wall

faced for hours

revealing a simple truth

that numb, opaque mirror (white plaster, tiny cracks)

charged by time and observation

making silence speak and fear vanish


but it wasn’t


it was instead the gray boulders

the thin river, the hot month

the shadow of a huge samán, the smell of guaduas

the scorching sun before the breeze

paired to the figure of Yeats’s old, old men*

admiring myself in the flow


that’s what it was



* William Butler Yeats, The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water (from, In the Seven Woods, 1903)

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