Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

It's hard to tell
that the face of the moon
is as much like a man's
as god's. Out yonder,
in the world without us,
who's to say? —
Either we get in the way,
or things make use of us.

Half-way around the globe
from where they started,
the static sound of starlings
echoes off the barn roof.
Spider weave in the spokes
of wheels, and stars
circle unsuspecting suns.
Little do we know,
the world has a talent
for making itself at home.

Meanwhile, we paint our self-
portraits on everything
imaginable, then hold
them up like mirrors.
Our mercurial brushes
grow longer, our skills
more acute. Dust clouds
the vision, tinder
to the eye. So we burn
trees to save the forests, burn
air to fly afar. We do, we say.
We can. The time

is close at hand. Time was
(said a man)
 you could tell the weather from the moon.
That was before another
broke   the quicksilver distance
and walked all over it.
Now you can't tell a thing.

Alice B Fogel, "Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear" from Elemental. Copyright © 1993 by Alice B Fogel. Reprinted by permission of Alice B Fogel.
Source: Elemental (Zoland Books, 1993)
More Poems by Alice B. Fogel