Wednesday, March 7, 2007

There Are Scratches Now

There are Scratches Now was inspired by a friend's fractured relationship with her mother. Growing up in the shadow of a woman who was beautiful and famous but devoid of warmth left its mark on my friend but her escape from that burden was calmly and couragously undertaken. She found life and creativity in imperfection, in embracing the mess and chaos of life rather than the sterile preservation of self so beloved of her progenitor.
To me this poem is not simply about that, but about the excape we all make as adults in order to mature; the movement from reliance on others' experience to the creation of our own, and the inherrent risk therein, that we will screw up and fall down and abandon perfection for fluidity, atrophy for movement.

There are scratches now,
tiny imperfections,
like the laughter lines of a supermodel.
Mere creases, hints of age.

The mirror you so carefully polished
that we as children coveted like gold-
the one you hid away in a black silk wrap-
it’s out now and used.

I feel I should apologize .
Your shade, long departed, haunts me
each time I see childish hands
brandish it in glee.

It meant so much to you.
Don’t get me wrong,
it meant to me, a multitude
as well.

It was you, your beauty,
reflected in a prism.
It was forbidden, the out–of–reach,
The untouchability of you.

I have given it away,
To your enemies, the young.
I have thrown it into the arena
to live or break, as it will

They have no respect,
Kids nowadays.
They are not easily impressed
By shine and glint.

Yes, it has scatches now
And tiny imperfections.
They were gained in the service
Of life.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


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