Monday, October 22, 2007

The Stranger in the Mirror

Sorry, I know some of you were hoping for a continuation of last week's message in a bottle story, but I'm buried under huge yawning piles of work this week and haven't had a chance to sit down and figure out where it's going. For now it will have to stay in the work in progress file. Instead, I give you my take on the stranger.


The Stranger In The Mirror

Standing
Staring
Wondering
Puzzling

Whose face is that looking back at me

These wrinkles
that arrived overnight
why laugh lines
when they look so haggard

Caught halfway
between maid and crone
I remember the girl that was
and begin to see
the old woman that will be

Each new line a memory
etched by years both good and bad
should I embrace them
these symbols of where I've been
or fight back against time

Or should I just wonder
why my mirror tells me lies*


The poem above was inspired by "Lies", a beautiful Stan Rogers' song. You can listen to a short clip by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

Lies
by Stan Rogers

At last the kids are gone now for the day.
She reaches for the coffee as the school bus pulls away.
Another day to tend the house and plan
For Friday at the Legion when she's dancing with her man.

Sure was a bitter winter but Friday will be fine,
And maybe last year's Easter dress will serve her one more time.
She'd pass for twenty-nine but for her eyes.
But winter lines are telling wicked lies.

All lies.
All those lines are telling wicked lies.
Lies all lies.
Too many lines there in that face;
Too many to erase or disguise;
They must be telling lies.

Is this the face that won for her the man
Whose amazed and clumsy fingers put that ring upon her hand?
No need to search that mirror for the years.
The menace in their message shouts across the blur of tears.

So this is Beauty's finish.
Like Rodin's "Belle Heauimiere",
The pretty maiden trapped inside the ranch wife's toil and care.
Well, after seven kids, that's no surprise,
But why cannot her mirror tell her lies.

All lies.
All those lines are telling wicked lies.
Lies all lies.
Too many lines there in that face;
Too many to erase or disguise;
They must be telling lies.

Then she shakes off the bitter web she wove,
And turns to set the mirror, gently, face down by the stove.
She gathers up her apron in her hand,
Pours a cup of coffee, drips Carnation from the can,
And thinks ahead to Friday, 'cause Friday will be fine!
She'll look up in that weathered face that loves hers, line for line,
To see that maiden shining in his eyes
And laugh at how her mirror tells her lies.

All lies.
All those lines are telling wicked lies.
Lies all lies.
Too many lines there in that face;
Too many to erase or disguise;
They must be telling lies.


Stan RogersLies

21 comments:

Jo said...

I like the idea behind this, it's clever, and the poem is well done!

keith hillman said...

A really intersting take on the subject. I liked the poem and the song very much.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Gah! That hit a little close too close to home for comfort!!!

gautami tripathy said...

If only the mirror lied to us...

Kelley said...

Fabulous poem.

Unfortunately it is all too true....

paisley said...

that god awful woman has taken up residency in my mirror as well.. i say we stage a revolt and recapture our misspent youth!!!!!

LaLa said...

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the wrinkliest of all....ha ha

Love the poem and song!

Herb Urban said...

Everything in my bathroom lies to me, from the mirror to the scale. Why does that room hate me so?

Great poem. My prematurely graying hairs can relate all too well.

paris parfait said...

You've written a bittersweet poem with which most of us can identify - sadly! Well done, you!

Marie said...

Great song! (BTW I sell some awesome wrinkle cream haha)

LittleWing said...

great poem....my wrinkles are my strength!!!...

tumblewords said...

Mirror, mirror, on the... It only took me the major part of a century to pass mirrors without looking into them - it's always such a shock when I forget and see WHAT? Great poetry!

Karina said...

Lies! They're all lies! ;-) I really liked this.

Pen and the Sword said...

Oh yes... I completely relate to this. Funny how time changes everything, including the person looking back at us in the mirror.

Greggo said...

a very clever take on the stranger prompt, and a great poem!

Mary Timme said...

I like the premise behind this and the play of pain and promise and to know. Fun in a poignant sort of way.

Jessica said...

very apt and accurate

UL said...

This was so lovely, Robin. I loved it. Thanks.

Redness said...

Spot on Robin, they don't make mirrors like they used to ... drat!

AnnieElf said...

Whenever this stranger visits MY mirror, I switch the visuals off. Amazing what you don't see even when you ARE looking. Well done.

kimberley said...

Well done!

Some days I look in the mirror and I cringe - other days I feel a warm place in my heart for who I've been, what I've weathered to get here.