Submission deadline for this month is...
Natasha Mazerolle /  Sat, 21 May 2022

A blank wall,

discoloured rectangles sit

in stage centre.

The girl reaches out,

her fingers brush along

where frames once sat.

Picture frames, her mother told her,

taken down now

as their glass was reflective.

Every wall in the house

exactly like this one.

No glass, no mirrors, no reflections.

Nothing to gaze upon oneself with.

Mirrors, her mother warned her,

portrayed only lies and ugliness.

Purity can only be found

when the ego is beaten and forsaken.

The girl’s hands freeze as the water from the sink runs cold.

She takes a facecloth and dabs her face,

hoping that,

though she will not see,

her facial features are lovely.

At school,

the bathrooms are to be avoided.

So that she may not

be taken by monsters.

Bathrooms, her mother assured her,

are not safe when outside of the house.

Beasts with tendrils

glistening scales

and large fangs

come to those

who enter their domain.

The girl is excellent at avoiding monsters,

she always knows them

when they come for her.

She is proud of her knowledge,

and boasts about all her mother has taught her.

But some are not as

open minded

as she is.

Mirrors, the girl’s friends argued,

show only what is before them,

and so they never lie.

The girl scoffed,

and leaned away

when they tried to give her one of their own.

Is she alright? People whispered among themselves. People show concern

when they see her walk by.

Like they can see something

but she can’t.

The girl is getting frustrated

at how outsiders think

they know what’s best for her.

She knew what it is best,

it was all her mother told her.

The girl walks silently down the hallway,

she is careful to avoid

the creak spots so as to avoid

disturbing anyone.

As she walks by,

Something catches her eye,

something shiny.

Slowly she walks into her mother’s room

and investigates the object shining light.

A mirror sits in her hand

for the first time in years

and shock from this realization

does nothing against

the shock of revelation

when she sees a bruised and empty face

staring right back at her.