Poem: An Interesting Face

An Interesting Face

I don’t look the part.
I never have.
Your mother discovering the truth of you
was amazed.
“You always looked so self-sufficient.” she told me.
“Even as a child.”

And she was right. Mothers often are,
the ones who stuck around and paid attention,
as she most certainly did.
Somehow I am both, self-sufficient
and delicate. I break. I find the broken parts
and add them, hold it together, do good,
always dancing over the fire,
arms flailing in magical incantations,
a worthy distraction from the subtle undoing.

Flail long enough and you heal.
and no one notices.
That is my life lesson.
It is a good one.
My mother taught me well.

The second lesson is like the first.
Healing never leaves you the same.
I am not. Each wound remakes me.
Until, some days, I hardly recognize myself,
only knowing, at this grey point in my life,
I have an interesting face,

About this poem.

I stumbled on this picture this morning while looking for something else. It was taken at my Aunt Jeanie’s house, which my grandfather’s home before that. Somehow, every picture of me there has me smiling.

When I see a picture like that, all smiles and twinkling eyes, I hardly recognize myself. I know where I have been. How could I smile so freely? Yet, I do. And that is not a bad thing.

No wonder I am grateful for my life.


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