A Sense of a Mirror Ending – a poem by Stapleton Nash

A Sense of a Mirror Ending

When you look at the mirror, there seems
Very little different, between the ancient world described in
The Bible, and the apocalypse
We all feel is coming. A vast stretching
Punishing holy desert, the dream of
A misplaced green space. Coarse flour and water
Acts as our ambrosia, our manna coming in tin cans, and any pilgrim
Could do far worse than to feast on locusts and honey.
Most of us would be very lucky to find any seafood we could stretch,
And dreams seem worth jettisoning for
The simple taste of an apple.

Genealogy becomes fantastic again, a tapestry
Of men who never seem to die, their women sewn on,
As good as nameless, just patches on the quilt. We speak
The names of other nations like incantations.
We spend our lives trying to get there,
But we never see over God’s iron mountain,
We never look into his green hills.

I remember one hot September walking back from a history lecture.
My pink skirt caught in a warm wind, full of city fumes.
But where has that wind been?
I felt the past stretching out in mathematical grandeur behind me,
And the future laying out eternal in front.
Its name was Genghis Khan,
Its name was Mansa Musa,
Its name was Lucy, a skeleton girl,
Its name was my own.

A friend’s mother walked the Camino this spring.
There she met a monk walking barefoot towards the cathedral.
An unbeliever herself, but warmed by the familial rites of the trail, she told him,
Go with grace. He said to her,
None of us do.


Stapleton Nash  was born and raised on Vancouver Island, where she grew up swimming, beach-combing, and writing letters to imaginary mermaid friends. Since then, she has lived in Montreal, where she studied literature, and more recently has been teaching English to children just outside of Taipei. She has had poems published in NewMag and The Mark

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