The Aging Magician Speaks to His Reflection

by Laurie Byro
Desert Moon Review
Third Place, July 2017
Judged by Tim Mayo


Dear scepter moon and top hat, you’ve fooled me a time.
I wrote you honest and fearless, not this cumulus face

that yearns to be open, no longer able to conjure a tempest
like Ariel; I keep going off. This island is lonely, this life not

quite golden, I am a fish in a bowl ricocheting the glass.
I am a fangy moon about to bite my leash in three.

Old, older, ancient. I can’t do the trick to join the pieces
together. I want the lines in my hands to lead me to a better life.

Maybe I’ll pull another pelt from my hat, put on my best
toupee, make the women my age loosen their hips or lose

ten pounds. Maybe I’ll pass for sixty again, mesmerize
them with my silver wolf walking stick. I am not too old

for dreams. I don’t wish to see their grandchild’s graduation
pictures. Spare me ever seeing another selfie. My own girl,

Miranda, stopped speaking to me more than four decades ago.
I want to lasso the moon with silk scarves, dance under an orb

of diamonds, set my stick to howling. I want to pretend my bones
are growing tall, that I am not shrinking. I want to pretend I am

at a masquerade ball at the Plaza Hotel, an accountant with important
numbers to balance, not a fool with the usual tricks up my sleeve.

I want to meet a woman in blood-red silk that she will use to lasso
the moon over us. All my perplexed rabbits will escape into the free

world, transforming me. Not leave me with my collapsible silk
hat alone, except for those beasts I have named: Longing, Regret.


One needs to remember the kinds of standard tricks almost all magicians do, as well as your Tempest. This poem does a great balancing act between the comic and the true sadness of regret. There is wit as well some great lines in this poem. To wit:

“ . . . I want to pretend my bones
are growing tall, that I am not shrinking.”

Alas, don’t we all regret the lesser beings we turn into as we grow older. --Tim Mayo

  • August 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      Seasoned with Love
      by Eira Needham
      PenShells

      Second Place

      Ill-used
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      A Note for Perilous Times
      by Fred Longworth
      PenShells

      Honorable Mention

      Whatever Glorious Else It Is
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • July 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      Corton Beach Holiday Camp, Great Yarmouth
      by Marilyn Francis
      The Write Idea

      Second Place

      Still Waltzing with You
      by Allen M. Weber
      Desert Moon Review

      Third Place

      The Aging Magician Speaks to His Reflection
      by Laurie Byro
      Desert Moon Review

      Honorable Mention

      Seeking Duende
      by Richard Chase
      Desert Moon Review

      Honorable Mention

      Dr. Seuss’s Guide to Manly Health and Training
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Honorable Mention

      Resonance
      by Sylvia Evelyn
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      celebrating the 45th anniversary of Father’s Day
      by Michael Virga
      The Writer's Block