April 24, 2017 Poem: “Those Ever-Present Mirrors of Myth and History”

Those Ever-Present Mirrors of Myth and History

Sometimes, after my morning shower,
when I ponder my mirror, that little
square above the sink,

I think I see evidence
not so much of middle-age,
but rather of something medieval:

me, as icon from another age.
I look to myself rather…raw—
or skinned, or parboiled—

and unblinking: some abbess
or uncoiffed good wife,
becoming crone.

I suspect that I am not
alone in preferring discreet
modern emollients—

little creams, tiny brushes,
and mineral paints—
to recreate some faint

retroactive allure; or
in taking modern joy in sound
teeth and bones, ample

fresh greens in winter,
abundant fruit, coffee, and tea;
unlimited hot water

for laundry, and lamplight,
and vitamins E, C, and D.
Ah! Now as I

(no longer quite naked,
thanks to foundation garments
and a delicate hint

of hypo-allergenic make-up)
reach for a new dress printed
with pink flowers and leaves

as green as any sea, I glance
into a farther mirror, catch
just a glimpse of Aphrodite.

Leslie Schultz

This last, impromptu photo was taken last October, just before Halloween, (Thanks, Tim!) as a surprise to text to our daughter at college. I was imitating the “Mel Head” from a cartoon she used to watch with her dad so many years ago (“Jack’s Big Music Show”). In the background, I can see another icon of womanhood, this one from my own childhood: the green-faced witch from the Hollywood movie of “The Wizard of Oz” (played by Margaret D. Hamilton). (Coincidentally, the kind-but-to-me-intimidating-and-scary headmistress of the girls’ school I attended in Australia was also named Margaret D. Hamilton.)

Hope you, too, are surprised by a smile today!


Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

10 thoughts on “April 24, 2017 Poem: “Those Ever-Present Mirrors of Myth and History”

  1. So glad the humor came through! Thank you for your laughter several states away!

  2. I think I see evidence
    not so much of middle-age,
    but rather of something medieval:

    I burst out with laughter at this wonderful stanza! Hope you meant it to be a little funny anyway!

  3. Fabulous post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such a beautiful form. . .and thank you for my ear-to-ear smile! The photos were a special treat! Looking forward to more posts, of course.

  4. A poem for us “women of a certain age.” And maybe those of us not so discrete about use of those modern emollients and brushes! If you’ve got ’em, use ’em!
    Lovely, as always. xo

  5. It is great to have friends with whom one can laugh at one’s own foibles!

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