Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mirror, Mirror - Poem

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror on the wall
I am my mother after all.
I don’t know who rewrote those Grimm Brothers’ lines,but
Mom gave me a pillow, with those words in needlepoint,
bought at some store.
I remember a time when she
would have made them herself.
And beautiful cakes for holidays and such,
with a theme – like my princess birthday,
complete with a knight in shining armor and
pointed hat with a veil.
When she married my dad, there was no more time for us
or special cakes.  My sister came after that.
Sis doesn’t have that kind of memory of mom.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall
I am my mother after all.
Not the toxic Queen of Control
she somehow became.
The witch who was jealous of what she saw
as my freedom – from kids and obligation.
Never realizing, that was all that I wanted.
So, she punished me in myriad ways.
I won in the end, I walked away.
But it was a Pyrrhic victory, with costs
not in blood, but regret and resentment,
in tears and anger and pain from wounds
she inflicted, without a care. 
At my sister’s house, I saw another pillow, just the same
She said she leaves it out - as a deterrent.
I had hidden mine away, for fear - they would come true.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
I am my mother after all.
So now, I leave my pillow out. 
But it’s not working.
I am, like the good mom I recall.
The one who gave me
a love of language and words;
she made me look them up
when I didn’t know them. 
And she taught me to be me,
even though it pissed her off when I was.
She gave me her face, too; I see it when I look
in a mirror.  I am lucky, I guess.  That’s the only
place I can see her now that she’s gone.
And despite all the conflict, the tears and the pain,
I still find myself saying, I have to tell Mom
This or that.  I miss her,
every day, and wish I could tell her
Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all.


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