By Dave Hood
Beneath the tall glass and concrete buildings
peering down at a crowd of passing strangers
in the core of an overcrowded city,
in a rush through the shadows on the street,
while yellow cabs, public street cars,
various models of automobiles speed past,
a young, attractive woman, taking a break
from the hectic pace of corporate office work,
sits on a concrete bench in a public square
during lunch hour, between two male co-workers.
While her companions gaze at various people on the street—
two middle-aged women carrying shopping bags,
gabbing and laughing as if sharing some humour,
a boy standing, delighting in the cool, sweet taste of an ice cream cone,
A gaggle of tourists appreciating and discussing the meaning
of the abstract sculpture of a reclining figure by Henri Moore
—the woman removes a smartphone from her leather purse,
turns away from her male companions,
smiles at the device as if gazing into a mirror
in the privacy of her bedroom,
then captures several photographs of herself.
A few feet away, standing alone, smoking a pipe,
balancing with his cane, oblivious to the digital age of postmodernism,
recalling the days when he took photographs of his loving wife
with his Polaroid camera, now deceased after a long battle with cancer,
a lonely, elderly man, desiring to share a conversation with someone,
catches sight of this young, attractive woman,
admiring herself as she’s smiling, snapping photographs
with her portable smartphone.
Immediately, he thinks: She’s like the Greek God Narcissus,
admiring and gazing at his own reflection in the mirror,
in love with himself.