Polishing Mirrors

My reflection walked away

leaving me to answer for

the hole in the bathroom wall.

A doorknob slam

against a wound of fragile plaster

and the damage I have become.

I knew it couldn’t be me standing

there with rain pouring

down my head, eyes, and nose.

And I, the woman, flinging irons and shoes

after kicking boards onto the floor,

after tossing cups of chilled soda across

the room, the walls, like paint and mud,

reaching to find her way back

by pulling away from a man who has

perfected the art of unintentional

crazy-making behavior.

I remember the cartons of love

he used to fix for dinner

forking enough for a quiet evening at home.

That was before living began to interfere

with being alive.

So I pulled down the top

on the toilet seat and sat down.

After all,

I needed to relax, think about

cooking dinner, about not letting

the kids see me like this.

I have never let people see me

like this before –

vulnerable and out of control –

the way I used to get

whenever Dad made me feel small

and unimportant



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