John Tenniel Alice Through the Looking-Glass
ALICE IN THE LOOKING GLASS
by A.E. Stallings

No longer can I just climb through—the time
Is past for going back. But you are there
Still conning books in Hebrew, right to left,
Or moving little jars on the dresser top
Like red and white pieces on a chessboard. Still
You look up curiously at me when I pass
As if you’d ask me something—maybe why
I’ve left you locked inside. I’d say because
That is where I’d have reflections stay,
In surfaces, where they cannot disquiet,
Shallow, for all that they seem deep at bottom;
Though it’s to you I look to set things right—
(The blouse askew, hair silvering here and here)—
Where everything reverses save for time.

 Illustration by John Tenniel (1871).

STALLINGS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A. E. (Alicia) Stallings studied classics in Athens, Georgia and has lived since 1999 in Athens, Greece. She has published three books of poetry, Archaic Smile (1999) — winner of the Richard Wilbur Award – Hapax (2000), and Olives (2012). Her new verse translation of Lucretius (in rhyming fourteeners!), The Nature of Things, is published by Penguin Classics. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. She lives with her husband, John Psaropoulos, editor of the Athens News, and their small argonaut, Jason.