In The Middle Ages

Alfred Cardiagan stood
before the mirror
and saw himself reflected
egg-shell white.

Twenty years before
she had called him shy.
Ten more, disspassionate.
And lately, dull.
In ten more,
he would be somnambulant.

In his own way,
this grammar of transformation
delighted him.
He smiled with what
she called his dumb
little martyr's detachment.

                                          Alan Steinberg