Clareified

Where does the good go

Mirrors mirrors on the wall, don’t make me have to smash you all

When I was younger, like 6 or 7, the mirror was my best friend.

I would stare into the glass for hours; I practiced to cry, studied what my face looked like when I laughed or yelled or frowned. With my mirror, I doubled my GI Joe combat forces in order to successfully capture the smurfs and destroy their village. Oh, how the mirror and I laughed and laughed as Papa smurf pleaded for mercy.

The mirror and I had serious conversations too. Spelling was hard. Ms. Bilboul was mean. Where is our right glove?

Frankly, I blame Snow White. Not the girl, the movie.

I assumed that everyone talked to mirrors.

My mother would ask who I was talking to and I would answer “the mirror,” and carry on as I were.

To her credit, my mother never said anything else.

Or…um…to her complete and utter failing as a parent. I can’t decide.

Anyway, I guess I stopped actually conversing with the mirror in my early teens (or by nine…whatever age is perfectly normal for one to stop conversing with mirrors. Cause I am normal. Nothing’s wrong with me. Get away from me with your white coats!) That is, assuming that rehearsing my monologues and speeches don’t count.

And then, one day, I was either 18 or 19, I was staring into the mirror and I saw a grey hair in my head.

What. The. Fuck?

I brushed it furiously with my hand. Clearly I had had some kind of flour mishap. This could not be real.

It was. I yanked it out of my head and washed it down the sink.

I stared accusingly into the reflexive surface.

“How DARE you? After all we’ve been through.” I turned away from that backstabbing mirror and never looked back.

I spent the rest of college in mirror less rooms, my apartment in law school only had a mirror on the medicine cabinet. I certainly didn’t carry one with me. Ever.

My former confidante was now a turncoat tattletale.

“There’s a hair sticking out of your chin!”

“Laugh line? Ha! Ten years ago maybe, ya wrinkled crone!”

“You’re so fat!”

Oh, mirror, I hate you so very much!

And then, the other day, I stumbled across this poem and I literally laughed out loud.

First, because it so exactly hits the nail on the head, but also because it’s by Sylvia Plath and I usually hate her!

So, as we speed toward the close of another year, let’s take a moment to reflect on our common enemy.

Reflect. Heh. See what I did there?

You’re welcome.

Mirror
By Sylvia Plath

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful-
The eye of the little god, four cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

14 Responses to “Mirrors mirrors on the wall, don’t make me have to smash you all”

  1. Fisch Says:

    Like a terrible fish? Yea, I see what you did there!

  2. Dawn Summers Says:

    You are also welcome.

  3. Pearatty Says:

    Oooh, I can see why people like Sylvia Plath with this one. Awesome!

  4. Dawn Summers Says:

    I know right? It’s so uncharacteristic.

  5. F-Train Says:

    You’re so uncharacteristic. No you are!

    (I don’t know. It seemed the thing to say.)

    One of your better Poetry Wednesday selections. But aren’t you the rising terrible fish? I’ve seen the way you play ace-queen.

  6. Dawn Summers Says:

    Imma punch you.

  7. Dawn Summers Says:

    Actually, Ftrain, you’re like a mirror! “not cruel, only truthful.” :)

  8. F-Train Says:

    That almost sounds like a compliment.

    But it’s a lie. We both know I’m totally cruel.

  9. Dawn Summers Says:

    Well, I said “like” not “are”

  10. Petitedov Says:

    The mirror is a bitch. Sometimes honesty is overated. It lies to me all the time, I think I look decent but then I see photos and the real truth comes out.

    Good poem. Sylvia Plath still is a whiny bitch.

  11. Dawn Summers Says:

    It’s funny, I hate mirrors, but I LOVE photos.

  12. VinNay Says:

    I love mirrors, but hate photos.

  13. VinNay Says:

    Here’s a special Christmas poem/ultra short story by Neil Gaiman.

    Nicholas Was…

    older than sin, and his beard could grow no whiter. He wanted to die.

    The dwarfish natives of the Arctic caverns did not speak his language, but conversed in their own, twittering tongue, conducted incomprehensible rituals, when they were not actually working in the factories.

    Once every year they forced him, sobbing and protesting, into Endless Night. During the journey he would stand near every child in the world, leave one of the dwarves’ invisible gifts by its bedside. The children slept, frozen into time.

    He envied Prometheus and Loki, Sisyphus and Judas. His punishment was harsher.

    Ho.

    Ho.

    Ho.

  14. Dawn summers Says:

    Do you know that he’s on twitter? I will not get mad if you tweet to him.

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