The Unforgiving Mirror
The decades have encroached on Grace
reflected in her undraped body and face –
one long look at her mirror image
without its clothing camouflage
shows tree-rings of years like a sturdy oak –
sighing she wraps them in her invisible cloak.
She frowns at her face unmasked by cosmetics,
her brow is etched with wrinkles prophetic
like the sedimentary layers in old sandstone.
Grace lifts her chin, straightens her backbone,
she can still postpone this ageing process,
no one to judge her state of undress.
Next week she’ll be the glowing mother-of-the-bride
who will throw these negative thoughts to one side –
on the wedding day she’s regal in flowery silk and lace…
smiling back her mirror reflects this amazing Grace.
Sue Cook was a senior English teacher, during which time she also edited the South Australian English Teachers Association’s annual poetry anthology. In addition to appearances in numerous poetry magazines and anthologies, her own work has appeared in the collections ‘In Focus’ and ‘Water Music’, published by Ginninderra Press in 2016 and 2018. Her poem ‘Frog Cakes’ was featured in InDaily Poet’s Corner in 2015, from where it was taken up by the maker of that South Australian icon for promotional use, and her Kangaroo Island poems have also been prominent in her contributions to the column over the years.