Her tiny, balled-up fists
pounded my clear surface,
as she stared inquisitively back
at the endearing rug rat
the reflection of her eyes so bright and blue
Everything so beautiful to her,
so full of wonder, so new
Smears of peanut butter fingerprints
smudged upon my glass exterior's tint,
blending between the freckles
of a pig-tailed one with unsteady ankles.
Passing me, she lingers,
her reflection a moving target
for whatever object lay within those fingers.

She had scampered, unnoticed, to mother's closet,
Returning before me with red, off-centered lips
Scooting on tips of oversized heels,
The pearls swayed against her in numerous teals.
She straightened her posture and curtsied with valor
to the girl who stared back;
the girl who had sought to grow up in an hour.
Morning alarms brought her before me again,
but the girl looked back this time in repulsion.
She pulled and tugged at her hair, allowing no assuage,
burying freckles upon her cheeks beneath layers of camouflage.
The wish to grow up still her it did tempt,
but only long enough for her to
stomp out in contempt.
Hours we spent, just her and I
before she left for her friends and the new guy.
Giddily she primped, perfection she sought to mend,
mulling over the length of her hair, the size of her waist, every split end
hair dyes became her everyday composite,
as she was
Consumed between the colors of fabric in her closet.

College brought her to books and intellectual charades
living between early-morning library visits and late-night research escapades.
She spotted me sometimes, before she left the room.
Hand on the doorknob, her trip to campus she'll eventually resume.
Stopping to first peer back at the girl with glasses, hair tossed atop her head,
wondering what this inspired, overworked girl will do with the life ahead.

She cantered into the darkness one Saturday night, smiling like a fool.
She sung off-tune symphonies to me in the mornings, as she danced upon the stool.
She scribbled poems upon me with toothpaste at night,
whispering soliloquies to communicate her delight.
Her eyes twinkled every time she glanced at the girl singing the song,
seeing something she hadn't yet seen,
though it had been there all along.

Frazzled hair, sleepless nights of lullabies and tantrums;
Her reflection ran back and forth daily, leaving me to my quiet pendulums,
On those sparse nights when she slowed down,
leaving the leftovers out, the toys on the ground,
she gazed toward me, no longer seeing herself as the only gem,
but three others within those aging eyes
that began to hold forever in them.

Sore joints, swollen limbs
wrinkled smiles, eyes going dim.
They would forever imprint the mark of something given,
something sacrificed,
the one thing for which she has remained driven.

Parched lips, shaky, frail arms,
at last she eyed me knowingly, under different terms.
Brushing back a whisp of gray hair,
Her body parting with all its wear.
I sensed the end was drawing near.
She would never again search my surface for herself,
for I ceased to hold anything for the woman who at last saw herself without a mirror.

@ 2011 by Rachel Lowry. All Rights Reserved {flickr & vi.sualize.us}


  1. Ah! Rachel! This made me cry a little, even though I'm usually pretty cynical about this sort of thing. Very nice :)

  2. Rach, this is beautiful.