Mirror, mirror

On the Mary Evans Picture Library’s Poems and Pictures blog today – my ‘Mirror’ poem with its gorgeous, accompanying photograph:

Mirror, you old jobsworth, you know

all my fractures

and keep your counsel.

*

Half-turn. There – twelve years old,

my scowl,

half confidence, half hope of better.

*

Eyes dip, and I’m in an aisle. A dress

my mother

liked and I did not.

*

Veiled dreams. That need to please,

appease,

make good, make safe. Make it out of there.

*

Between my brows one line of

anguish,

cut two years later when he left.

*

Frail memory. It skims and

sinks away

as if it never happened.

*

A gleam. Breath held, I watch

my baby

reach – two steps, one step, three – and walk.

*

Decades splinter into

gemstone shards

we shake, twist, blend with artless grace.

*

You, mirror, witness all our pieces,

glitterdust

of loss and kisses.

*

The Mary Evans Picture Library is a wonderful archive of images, tucked away in a beautiful Arts and Crafts building in south east London. Every Thursday, the Poems and Pictures blog, curated by Gill Stoker, publishes a poem, old or mint new, accompanied by something from the archive. It’s absolutely gorgeous and an ideal oasis of calm for these uncertain times.

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