Free Verse – Pride – Melaney Arruda

A guest submission for this week’s theme!

An Excerpt from My Mother’s Diary

I have taken to draping cloth
Over reflective surfaces in our house.

It began with the mirrors,
And now the windows,
The kitchen appliances,
The metal bedside lamps.

Still, sometimes you look at my eyes,
Squinting at your fun-house-mirror reproduction,
Framed by brown iris.

Pride and obsession,
They pretend to be distant relatives,
Strangers to one another,
But secretly, they meet at midnight.

I do not know when
You began to join them,
Speaking in hushed tones,
Not realizing how thin the walls are.

And now, your once fresh, porcelain face
Has been stained by caked-on paints;
Lips, eyes, hollows of your cheeks,
Your neck –
Not one pin-point of skin unscathed.

Previously unafraid to climb mountains,
To swim fierce rivers,
You now panic at the thought
Of going bare-faced
To pick up the newspaper.

I cannot find you in yourself anymore,
Do not see your likeness
In the photographs you have pinned to the wall.
Instead, I have made myself your cemetery
And I visit the grave of the girl you were
As often as I can.

Written by Melaney Arruda of Things I Would Have Said

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