I stand on the white floor, my feet
Instantly splaying out like the billow of cloth
In a quiet afternoon breeze. Toes swell up,
Just a little, like albino leeches, blood pooling.
What harm have my feet done, I wonder
That they wear their ugliness like a brand.
An arch that rose reluctantly, crowned by toes
That never grew up.
You of the perfect feet; a petite, lithe size five
You of the pretty hands, fingers like frozen rain
Ravens for hair, paintings for eyes
Voice like winter sunshine, song like goodbyes.
Mirrors confess no truths; they refuse to lie,
What I saw in them, I saw through your discerning eye.
Who am I and who were you? Why did my arms
End with your palms? Why is my face studded with your eyes?
All those things you ticked off
Long straight nose
Fingers turned up at the tips
Small waist, flat stomach, swelling hips.
I look for them in our mirror, then I looked in mine.
Then I looked in yours, mother. And all I saw was you
All I saw was me. Telling you how difficult it was to be your daughter.