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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mirror, mirror...

Over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, a fellow Canadian poet, Grace, asks us to write about mirrors.
She provided two pictures for the mirror prompt: one a photo by Margaret Bednar of a chandelier's reflection, and the other a 17th-century painting, "Old Coquette" by Bernardo Strozzi.
I have chosen the latter for my inspiration today.

She looks in the mirror
and sees her youthful self,
whose breasts attracted
rather than repelled,
and hair so dark and lustrous
with never a thought of grey,
still, in her mind,
she hears her lover say,
"How pretty you will always be,
  so perfect in my eyes!"
And to herself,
before the mirror,
sighs...
"He loves me now
  and always will
  and I need have no fears
  of losing him to younger loves
  through passing of the years."
She lost him, though,
he went away to war,
and though she waits,
he will return no more.
But every night she's sure
of his arrival,
her broken mind
convinced of his survival.
Fifty years have come and gone,
she has no mate, no child,
but in the mirror still she sees
the face that once beguiled.
Kay Davies, April, 2014                               

12 comments:

Björn said...

What a sad tale.. in ever so few words. What war can do, and how we still cling to that vain hope.. really sometimes it's the only way to remain sane..

Grace said...

How sad to lose the loved one and then to wait for many many years, beguiled by the mirror's gaze ~ The mirror can be deceptive of the reality that is too harsh to bear ~

Enjoyed the story Kay ~ Good to see you back from your trip ~ I hope the spring weather is coming your way ~ Happy weekend ~

Susie Clevenger said...

This is beautifully written...so sad though. I wonder if each of us has something either known or secret we are waiting on.

Friko said...

Oh dear, the poem says it all. Sic transit gloria mundi.

An excellent poem about a very painful subject. I think I shall cover all mirrors in the house.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh such a poem this is, especially powerful in its closing lines...."the face that once beguiled". Wonderful, Kay!

Fran said...

This is a very moving poem, beautifully written xxx

Ella said...

This is so sad! Yes, the mirror can enchant and betray us- The realities are always harsh when it comes to war-well written, Kay!

Sumana Roy said...

when mirror acts as hope the consequence is tragic...a beautiful interpretation of the painting...

Grandmother (Mary) said...

The Irish custom of covering the mirrors in a house when someone in the family dies would have been helpful to this poor woman.

Other Mary said...

Oh, what a sad, sad poem. You have just the right tone, great rhyme. Beautifully written, Kay.

Tammy said...

Hauntingly lovely, Kay, and so perfect for the picture!

Margaret said...

… I don't know if it is "fully" sad - she seems to have lived her life "in love". Better than depression or anger… I think the rhyme and story here are just OUTSTANDING! (and welcome back)