Poem of the Week–Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror

Old woman, old woman, what do you see?
I see my reflection staring back at me.
There are differences in me and she.
Funny how we disagree.

She is 16, naïve and sweet
Stepping over insults thrown at her feet.
She has no safe harbor in home church or school
Where equal opportunity bullies rule.

She’s not allowed boundaries.
To all she’s fair game.
Persona non Gratis
Not even a name.

I see the results of her former life.
Emotions that sit on the edge of a knife.
A hang dog expression, a permanent frown
An “I dare you” look that she can’t put down.

I see the regret, the rage and the fear
That she has been carrying all of these years.
An angry teenager, a grown up in pain
And now an old woman who carries the strain.

Old woman, old woman, what do you see?
A sad little girl with no place to be.
I see maiden, mother, matriarch, crone
Surrounded by people but always alone.

I also see hope, for my life is not done.
My next great adventure already begun.
I see a wise woman who’s come into view.
To remind me of things I long ago knew.

I see my future my present my past
All rolled into one. But the runes are not cast.
The future I make is up to me.
When I look in the mirror, that’s what I see.

Virginia Small
Denver Branch, CO


  1. Martyna Burford says:

    P.S. What does “Your comment is awaiting moderation” mean? Also, if not a member of American Pen Women, can I submit poetry, short story, etc?

  2. Martyna Burford says:

    I love this poem! As a very senior senior, I can relate to it very well. I receive lots of fetching ads for assisted living, but I say, NOT YET!

  3. Dawn Huntley Spitz says: