by the mirror wall (nee bottle wall) or, another reminder of why I love this city I live in.

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I was walking early this morning  past the city cemetery and past the house fronted by what we used call the bottle-wall.  

The wall is knee-high, and was so-named for the dozens of  old bottles troweled into it’s cement. It’s bottles  were long ago broken, (once catastrophically by a car failing to negotiate the turn) and have since  been replaced by many small  mirrors.  Some are  just shards, but all are likewise embedded in concrete along its length.   

Facing the graveyard, on a thin strip of  grass between the wall and the front porch of the unpainted house sits a bench.  Hand-painted, with care, on it’s weathered,  planked backrest is a poem by Derek Walcott.

(The line breaks as they appear on the bench are not the author’s, due, I imagine, to the restrictions of the medium.  I don’t know that the poem suffers for it.)

 Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life. -Derek Walcott