Saturday, February 26, 2011


By Joseph Hesch

I dreamed we faced each other
through the glass partition, labeled
“Do Not Touch”
in a prison visitors room.
Odd, I’m never sure which of us
is the prisoner.
At first, we peered at one another
aslant, carefully.

And there, mirrored on our own sides
of the glass,
we each saw ourselves reflected,
overlaying the other's image.
We were sometimes attracted
sometimes frightened
at how the other resembled ourselves
from our false angle,
in our captured light.

But, as we’ve moved
closer to one another,
I’ve come to see the
imperfect, frightened,
unreflected you.
And I wasn't afraid anymore.

In last night's dream, you closed
your eyes and drew a breath
to tentatively extend
your hand to me.
Pressing my palm to the partition,
I’ve tried reaching you,
but couldn’t.

Somehow—a promise—
we'll break down this barrier,
No, not to touch one another,
but to be touched.

What do we see when we look at one another?  Are we really seeing?  What keeps us apart?  Are our impressions of one another real?  What about the barriers between us? Do we really want to know the answers to these questions? And, if they were answered, what would we do then?  Really?


  1. Wonderful and original idea presented in the form of a dream. Interesting and compelling. Drew me in and held on tight to the very end, and the longing in the finish was almost painful to this tired heart. Glad you picked up that pen, poet friend, as you have a gift to be shared :)

  2. I agree, you definitely have a gift. I'm so happy you started the blog. This poem really touched me, especially the ending.

  3. that's beautiful - congrats joe!

  4. While I dropped by from Tashtoo, because she recommended you.
    I very nice read indeed, you do have the writing seed.
    Just wanted to say great work and I'll be back to lurk.
    As hopefully you write more, as they certaintly don't bore.
    So off I go to prepare for more snow.

  5. I enjoyed the poem. Yes I feel the major barrier to each other is in our heads.

  6. Beautiful Joe. I even love your questions at the end. This is a very self reflective and thoughtful piece. ♥

  7. The descriptions are great. The endless reflections of each other merging into one ... well done.

  8. Fantastic metapor and imagery. I really enjoyed this, plus it raised some very interesting questions. Looking forward to reading more of your work. Thanks for sharing. :)

  9. Nice work. I really enjoyed this.

  10. love this...the image and the message...what do we see when we look at each other...and you know...i think in some ways we do touch...

  11. I love the way you portray this - I felt in prison. I guess relationships can be that if we never break down the barriers

    Thanks for the One Shot

  12. Are we the prisoner
    or the emprisoned?
    Look in the mirror...

  13. Hi Joseph
    I liked the import of it all and as you question.. Do we see, really see? Just like the Zen seeing... do we try seeing really into it... the truth of every thing that is so around...
    Your lines .... 'No, not to touch one another,
    but to be touched.' were beautiful.

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter @VerseEveryDay

  14. Please feel free to share 1 to 3 poems with our potluck poetry today, first time participants could use old poems or poems unrelated to our theme, Thanks..
    Happy Monday!

  15. Thoughtful take on relationships, well written.

  16. That's brilliant Joe. So many of those lines are gold...