At The Mirror Again
At The Mirror Again

I went to the mirror
when I was three
and played with
the girl who lived there.
She was good at
the games we played,
but she wasn’t very original.


At eight I went back
to the mirror again
and noticed the curve in
my nose,
the tan flecks in
my eyes
and the white jagged scar on
my lip.
I didn’t like what I saw,
so I decided not to look.


The age of thirteen
made the mirror a close friend
by virtue of the hours
we spent together
as I tried to paint
my eyes more green,
my lips more red,
and my brows more perfectly arched.


I used the mirror,
at the age of eighteen,
to search for the woman in me.
I looked for the lines and
the outward signs
that would tell me she had arrived
because, it seemed
she was nowhere
to be found.


At twenty-nine I worriedly looked,
not eagerly as before,
for those awful lines
and bags
and creases
that I saw more in my head
than in the reflection.


I surveyed the damage, at fifty-eight,
of four kids and twenty-five years of marriage.
I wasn’t happy with what I saw.
The lines were so deep
and the skin at my jaw just sagged
like a deflated balloon.
It seemed that
the green of my eyes
was all that was left
of my youth.


I see my reflection at seventy-seven
more faintly than before.
And even though I’m losing my sight
and I know I look old-
sometimes, if I look
just right,
I can almost see the girl
I used to see,
But there’s a difference –
She’s beautiful.


Mondays taste
like your first cigarette –
Hard to get through
Hard to forget.


My cocoon is being ripped away
by smiling faces that are followed
by clawing hands.
I am torn to shreds
as parts of me adhere
to what is stripped away.
It is said that
scar tissue is stronger
than that with which we began.
I only hope
it is true.


Elaine is a Florida native who pretended to be a Yankee for 20+ years but came to her senses and moved back home eventually. With 2 grown kids, 5 grandkids, 1 hubby and 2 dogs, life is never boring. Elaine works as a mental health counselor with troubled kids and families as well as volunteering with homeless and children’s programs at her church.  She enjoys crocheting, reading, swimming, movies and living in paradise. Elaine is energetic, upbeat and encouraging, but her writing allows her to show the deeper and darker sides of her soul and her psyche.

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