My sister never washed her face at night.
My grandmother smoothed cold cream
over hers in dutiful faith the makeup
would slide off like dirt on a screendoor
during rain. When I was twelve my father
grew a silver beard, unmatched
to his coal gray hair. My sister’s eyes
always rimmed in black, balls of tar
in the corners like that
of the family cat. Grandmother’s face
smeared with Vaseline – she must
have collected particles of dust in the creases
during sleep. Father shaving it off
when he saw himself in the Christmas pictures
that year. My mother never loved
the mirror, expressed disgust at its faces as if
she were opening the door to discover
the visitor, an enemy neighbor.
Oh I do admire your visual sensibility. Both in word and literal image too. And I’m more than pleased if any prompt leads you somewhere you wanna say (no rules about being otherwise!). I like your result. And yes, images need not explain, pretend at more than they are – it is, we are, more than enough I think. Like a thirst that’s quenched, what more need be said? Glad to have read your poem this morning! Very ripe.
Cynthia, I love this, especially the last four lines. Very nicely done. It is great to see you back with us!
Thank you! Glad to be back.
I like the mother part best, but definitely as a part of the whole. Also like your choice of photo.
The idea of all these cosmetic experiments and mishaps matched with the word “War” is really interesting… and you could still consider this fingers/hands-related. The action of the hands to the face. And as everyone else is saying, the mother at the end is an excellent twist; the photo at the end is an excellent photo.
I love the cohesion to this poem. And I agree with the others about the mother — a great ending!
Thank you Mabel Lee!
A captivating poem, though I can’t really pinpoint why. The idea of war paint, makeup is an interesting subject, and here it seems to go with the idea of smearing. Welcome back.
Thank you Irene!
I like the “somewhere else” that the prompt led you too. We all wear masks, don’t we? And what does what we do with our faces say about the person inside and his/her state of mind? I confess that I’m like your sister in the poem — have a love affair with black eyeliner.
I was kind of exploring that idea, yeah – it started with painting our faces and just grew from there. What we leave on, what we wash away, what we wish we could remove…(and I love my black eyeliner too)
I like how each character is developed by their looks and actions and the contrasts of all those. Makes one feel like you might recognize any one of these people. Nice.
I’m enjoying your poetry. I will come back and read more. So talented in different areas. I’ve known you from REAL LIFE (was obsessed with your videos) I thought you did the BEST job of that online …my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I wanted to ask you if I can link in some articles.
LOL – I totally mis-read your comment. I thought you mean you knew me personally when you said “I’ve known you from real life,” and I was thinking WTF kind of stalker is this?! Then I realized it was Real Life Wigs, LOL!! Sure,you can link to whatever you’d like. I’ve stopped by your blog too, and it’s great!