photo credits here, edited.
by Celine Cheow
At the west gate within the walls of Lazius
Where merchants, royalty and peasants alike
Passed by in uncountable frequency
Stood the city’s sole mirror.
A mirror as brilliant as winter’s full moon
As large as the city pond
A mirror bordered by crystal encrusted silver
Shared by all.
A mirror seven centuries old
A mirror created by the greatest silversmith ever known
A mirror that allowed people to benchmark themselves against others
A mirror which pointed out each individual’s flaws.
Dawn till dusk, citizens preened
As haughty beauties gazed at themselves for lengths of time
The plebians and the humble
Could only wish away their imperfections.
Yet, despite looking into the mirror every day
Despite a thousand pairs of eyes to scrutinise
Despite numerous generations’ rinsed repeats
None had managed to spot the mirror’s own flaws.
For you see, the centuries had weathered down
The mirror’s once close- but not perfect- pristine conditions
And the numerous minute distortions it beheld
Had caused the citizens to see their strengths as flaws.