The Angel in the Mirror

(A poem about a supposedly true incident in the life of the Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg [1688-1772], who claimed to converse with angels and demons. Being spiritually pure, angels are said to resemble their pre-pubescent human selves. Published in A Christmas Canzonet, Linnet’s Wings, 2016)

That canny old mystic Swedenborg,
when asked by his young visitor
if he could conjure an angel,
led her to a draped wooden frame.

Now, he said, behold:
this is how an angel looks.
And drew the curtain up.

The young girl's gaze, one hopes,
was drawn to her own reflection
and not to the grizzled prophet's
towering at her shoulder.
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