Poem for August


In my mother’s house
is the friendly mirror,
the only glass in which I look
and think I see myself,
think, yes, that’s what
I think I’m like.
that’s who I am. The only
glass in which I look and smile.

Just as this baby smiles
at the baby who always
smiles at her, the one in
her mother’s arms, the mother
who looks like me, who
smiles at herself in her
mother’s mirror, the friendly
mirror in her mother’s house.

But if I move to one side
we vanish, the woman I thought
was me, the baby making friends
with herself, we move to one side
and the mirror holds no future, no past
in its liquid frame, only the corner
of an open window, a bee visiting
the ready flowers of summer.

Maura Dooley

This poem by Maura Dooley is taken from ‘Sound Barrier: Poems 1982 – 2002 (published by Bloodaxe 2002). As the Literary Review commented; ‘Her poems have both great delicacy and an undeniable toughness … she manages to combine detailed domesticity with lyrical beauty’.