Reflections - Poem by Emma Atkinson
To find solace in another's smile,
To see your own reflection in their eyes,
A mirror polished by love,
To be lulled to sleep by their sighs
Is something I have dreamt of
For as long as I can remember,
A hope so young and fragile,
It was but an ember,
Waiting to be breathed to life
By another human breath,
A longing that had come so close to death,
I had been prepared to live without a heart,
To turn away from human eyes and sacrifice my soul to art.
To it alone would I be true.
I would have thoughts for nothing else,
Because to do otherwise
Would have been so much harder than to live behind my mask of lies,
And pretend my heart did not flutter at the thought of man,
Or that I spent nights dreaming of what it would be like to be held.
No, that part of me would have had to be locked away,
Starved until it knew not the time of day.
And then your eyes found mine.
Sight was restored to the blind,
And the greying ember burned red,
Red as my cheeks when you spoke to me.
The words you said
Were tinder for the empty forge
That lay within my heart,
And the warmth of those words made fear depart
So that my soul could bloom open to you like a flower.
You did not, for the longest time, know the power
You held over me—No, because my timid heart trembled to show it,
Wishing that, in time, you would simply come to know it.
And now you do, marveling at how your magician's hand
Has caught the frail dove.
Your words make me smile as I feel the snares of love.
My timid eyes at last meet yours,
Those hazel, ever-shifting doors
That are the entrance to your soul,
And in the spaces, I see myself reflected.
It is not the image of the girl who stares at me in the mirror,
So often rejected,
Even by myself—No—she is the child of Venus,
Made lovely in the eyes of the beholder,
And I feel my soul begin to smolder,
Ablaze with life, afire with love.
What I have dreamt of
So long ago, eternal in its while,
Has come to pass:
I have found solace in another's smile.
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