In the morning, you look in the mirror,
rarely liking what you see,
too aware of sins and skin cracking,
too aware of the weight of your own personal history
and a lack of care for skin and soul for far too long.
It is the reason you avoid mirrors.
But from time to time, it is good to stare in them
and see what is and what is imagined.
Good and bad, the truths show themselves
and you can decide what regimen is worth the work,
and what is not, laying claim to what you see
by your own choices.
You smile and there is an eruption of crinkles
that make you smile even more.
Your face deserves more wrinkles of woe than you show,
and that makes you happy.
Not because you don’t want to see them,
but because there is no reason to inflict your pain
on others. Your mother would understand.
She taught it to you. A quiet, smiling stoicism,
that at times has served you well, and at times
has punished you. She forgot to tell you the rest of it,
that at times you need to let the dam spill over
before it breaks, and that living is about
knowing when to and when not to release the pressure
that is part of your every morning. You learned the lesson
the hard way. The way you learn the most important lessons.
You look in the mirror. You see what you see,
and you understand that it is your own eyes,
not the mirror, that allows you to see,
and it is your own eyes that need lenses,
not always your own, to see properly.
About this poem
I wasn’t feeling poetry this morning, but I try to write even when I am not feeling it, so I just went into my files, grabbed a random image, and wrote to it. This is what came out.