SENTINEL POETRY #24   November 2004

AKIKO TAYLOR

REFLECTION


Dreams disappeared into pillows
When the alarm clock beeped like a hungry baby.
I forced myself out of bed.

In the bathroom mirror
Strands of grey hair multiplying
Like tough weeds in tidy lawn

More boisterous than ever
They shouted out hysterically
All at once,

"Look, I'm here!"
"I'm here, too!"
"Look this way! I'm over here!"


Then I suddenly recognised
My mother in front of me.
The face of thousands of miles away

Staring at me blankly
No smile, no joy, no tear
For this two-dimensional reunion.

Coming closer and closer,
With those big round eyes
She quietly, excitedly showed me

Fine line under her eyes,
Faint brown freckles on her temple,
That I'd never noticed.

Soon our laughter locked up
Vanity in the mirror.
But the air tasted stale for a moment

Because I remembered
I wasn't in my 20s
Any more.


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Akiko Taylor was born in
Tokyo, Japan and now lives in Portadown. Her poem "reflection" won the 3rd Sentinel Poetry Bar Challenge on the theme of Growing Old. Her prize was a copy of If Only The Night--a book of poems by Uche Nduka

IF ONLY THE NIGHT
Courtesy of Uche Nduka