When I look in the mirror

I am generally disappointed.


In my mind’s eye

I envisage a colourful character,

rainbow-hued, vibrant, sparkling with light.

And then my critical eyes

find the silver streaks wiring through my hair

(which I had imagined to be luxurious

but my elephantine memory reminds me that

somebody once told me was thin and fine and somewhat limp)

and I add to that let-down the bags under my eyes

and the slightly receding chin

and the crooked front teeth

and the wide hips

and the thighs too sturdy for the skin-tight jeans I would love to wear

(the kind my younger, more svelte sister suits so well)

– and I am disappointed.


It’s a good job I don’t own a full-length mirror

and even better that I only see the top to toe me

when in the Ladies loos at work

and really, that doesn’t count, because it is only work.

I come to life after 6pm and at weekends

when my imagination runs riot.


And then, then, I am not disappointed.

No, I am not disappointed at all.




Tonight, in dVerse Poetics, Grace introduces us to the juicily, vibrant art of Cheryl Kellar. Cheryl has kindly allowed us to use some of her art as inspiration for our work this evening – aren’t we lucky!Herbiography gives me heart and hope – she was a court reporter by day, her artist-soul hidden underneath the precise (and I imagine) serious demeanour required for such a responsible job. Please do rifle through her website and also her blog for joyous and uplifting art.

So, here’s my response to the glorious work above, which is actually titled ‘Oh, the stories she could tell’ – oh couldn’t we, couldn’t we all?! Please do pop along to the dVerse bar and see what the other twice-weekly drinkers (err, I mean poets!) have been up to!




41 thoughts on “Refraction

  1. Fabulous Freya, seeing ourselves as we really are and accepting what we are does take some effort buts what we are and why should we be disappointed, that person we are takes us places, gives us new experiences, allows us to love and be loved, its ok to be who we are.

  2. why is it we see those things…and others dont always…we can be so critical of ourselves…but each wrinkle and scar i figure is earned…and i wear them like badges to a life well lived…smiles.

  3. I talk to women all the time that criticize one thing or another about themselves, yet I don’t see it. Allow your imagination to run riot everyday ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Mirrors are deceptive and you see what you want to see ~ I love what you said about yourself after work (just like me), rejoice and let your imagination run riot ~

    Thanks for joining in (hey not disappointed at all) and wishing you Happy Week ~

  5. It sounds like the speaker’s imagination has a nice voice and a mean one (that likes to do voice overs for mirrors.) I imagine she’s more the weekend her.

    Thought provoking piece, and a little sad. When the revolution comes, we wil banish the mean voice.

  6. “and the wide hips

    and the thighs too sturdy for the skin-tight jeans I would love to wear”

    That’s my life. I’m naturally bottom heavy, which makes finding men’s jeans
    that fit properly hell! very revealing write… It’s tough to love your body, especially with the standards of “beauty” nowadays… I often wonder how other’s see me, maybe it’s best not to know aye? and I like the end as well… great to leave on a positive… smiles

    1. I find it interesting that men can be, and are, just as insecure as women in this way. I’m willing to bet others don’t see en half the ‘faults’ we see in ourselves….

  7. Don’t we all….
    feel like that. And don’t we all still see that earlier person, with the ‘proper’ head of hair and the smooth forehead…
    Maybe fading eyesight is a blessing in disguise?

  8. I don’t think the reflection of us mirrors the actual person; only our lovers & friends can do that. It like listening to our recorded voice; “Hey, I sound like that?”. I just face the glass clone each day, mid-riff bulge, warts, & all.

  9. Oh, I so know what this is talking about… One of the few times I can forget what/who I am when I look in the mirror is when I’m writing… Thank you for putting that into words in such a wonderful way!

    1. Thank you. Yes, and in honour of this, I am literally letting my hair down, growing it again in my forties, even though women of my age are supposed to ‘go short’… ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Love this! Don’t think of the grey as a sign of age, but as something to trick people into thinking you’re mature (that’s what I do). ๐Ÿ™‚

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