Lorna Knowles Blake

Lorna Knowles Blake
Lorna Knowles Blake's first collection of poems, Permanent Address, won the Richard Snyder Memorial Prize from the Ashland Poetry Press and was published in May 2008. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and serves on the editorial board of Barrow Street. She lives in New York City, New Orleans and Cape Cod.

Mirror And Window

She is wise beyond her years, She's an old soul,
the elders said, but from the looking glass

a person neither wise nor old gazed back
at her—what mirror can give back a soul?

A pretty child, before too long, a maiden
confirmed in other eyes: a family friend,

that physics teacher, all those lusty boys
and tropics full of hormones, flux & moon.

One solstice night, the mirror framed a bride:
seductive, chaste, ring-taken (yet the street

still smiled at her). Then at harvest time
a double in the mirror doubled: mother/

daughter. That child, too soon a maiden,
is blowing spring into her mother's fall.

Strange calendar: seasons shift and stall;
there is weather in her still, yet the world

looks through her like a window and mirrors
reflect it all: child, maiden, mother, crone.


Thievery is exciting.
Audacity, too, we envy,
and Daring, and Wagers.
Furthermore, (with its
implied "tsk, tsk") Risk
of any kind: snooping,
filching coins, sneaking
booze and cigarettes,
illicit affairs, rubber
checks, stacked decks,
bald-faced lies, fingers
crossed behind our back,
the thing. Palm it. Look
over your shoulder.