What’s In the Mirror

What’s in the Mirror

It’s morning again
and I look in the mirror.
Natural curls of my hair cling to each other
in fluffy waves on top and tight, smooth spirals
underneath. I flip it forward,
check the length,
and flip it back.
I admire how it looks better now
than it did the night before
but something’s not right.

Something inside is throbbing
and aching—winding up and unwinding.
Could it be my heart—too heavy?
Or my mind stretching
to get around some grief
like the sky being too big
or the possibility of a world without a sky—
existence where the words “blue”
and “rain” and “clouds” have slid
away from lips
into oblivion.

What if it’s not me at all
but a different girl, Sarah,
whom I barely know.
She was raped on a date last week
and wrote a poem about it
and posted it on Twitter.
I’ve laughed with her
over giving the finger to the moon.
I want to reach out to her
and stand next to her
in solidarity.

Or it could be that other girl, Kala,
whom I used to know.
She withered from cancer
that crept through her body
and sank its teeth into her bones.
When she died she left
two babies behind.

The will never know
the bright, strawberry blonde
who hung out at Billy Frogs
on Fridays after work drinking
cheap vodka crans—laughing
at co-workers and splitting nachos.

But I’m sure it’s about Z,
whom I know so well
because I gave birth to her
and she’s getting ready to fly
and the sky is impossibly vast
and could collapse in on itself
at any moment—strands of air
clinging together as they spiral down
and crash into the earth.
Will she be lost in a dirty brown sea
with nothing blue or green
to hang on to?

My mind flinches and stops
on that dead end question.
I can’t stop time
or un-melt polar ice caps.
I can’t save anything or anyone
from human beings
who only think
about how their hair looks
when they wake up.

***

This poem was written over a year ago but so much is relevant right now, in the slow motion moments of this day. August 24, 2020

About ShySpark

I blog, I garden, I eat cheeseburgers, and sometimes I travel. But mostly I just write poetry...
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