Mirror, Mirror

by Colette Coen

At a triptych of mirrors I pluck and pull the thick black hairs of my crossed and knotted brow. I move the Tweed and the Yardley to get a closer look, focusing as each hair surrenders its bulbous root. In the left-hand mirror I glimpse the perfectly shaped arches framing her questioning eyes. She would brush and tweeze every day, then with a ladylike spit would scour at the tablet of mascara, and comb through the clumps.

I used to play with the mirrors, making an infinity of images to divine the future or relive the past.

Now, ignoring the tidied death bed, I twist her lipstick and apply it like a kiss. I whisper my goodbyes as my hands run across her dressing table and the little bits of nonsense that made her life. Then I straighten the wings and the mirror finally reflects only my own eyes.

Colette Coen is currently writing short stories, flash and poetry while eating Bournville chocolate.

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  1. #1 by Barbara on October 27, 2009 - 5:10 pm

    Another beautiful and evocative piece of writing Colette, and hugely moving – congratulations! Takes me back to my mum’s dressing table and what a magical place it was. Now having seen my daughters at my dressing table over the years, I have often wondered what memories are being stored up for them.

  2. #2 by FRANCES BLAIR on October 27, 2009 - 11:24 pm

    I could barely read the end for tears. stunning

  3. #3 by Vivienne on October 28, 2009 - 1:02 pm

    That’s very thoughtful. It made me think of different times in my life when I’ve put on a face, so that I could expose myself to the wider world. I inherited a dressing table from an aunt who moved to Australia and used to play with the mirrors like that. Keep writing – please.

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