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Everything Eventually Cracks in the Mirror

The mirror is intact, but she sees it cracked.
She had a pilgrim soul when young;
Now, she loses her way trying to find her face.

She wonders if God learns, if he ages, or,
If God is a he, and does God see
His reflection in dead stars - no:
It's just super force, male energy
Producing flowers, producing men who pick them,
Each fallen blossom fertilizer soon.

She catches a shard of the face in the mirror:
Just a nose, just one eye at a time,
One lip smooth, one lip rough, then when
She combs the hair again and again
There's nothing inside the hairline.
Whoever's in the mirror - it's never her,
Sometimes with the jig-sawed pieces
She tries to solve the puzzle in her mind.

One piece shows the face of a little girl.
Sitting at a minister's desk,
Studying catechism,
So she can be confirmed.
There's a liquor bottle inside a drawer
And a picture on the wall
Of a baby preacher naked on a white fleeced rug.

Father yells at all the little girls
And pats the heads of all the little boys
In church, where others see.
She wants to take communion.
She wants to drink the wine.

Father wears a black cloak and scrapes his cane:
She thinks that he's a vampire but
She learns the lesson and she drink the wine,
While the face in the mirror starts to break
In the room where they take their choir robes off
Before she quits going to church.

A woman sits, legs crossed, in a cross-less room,
Tapping beats with her feet on her chair,
Afraid to look in a mirror anymore:
Afraid there'll be nothing,
Or something,

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


I see a bit of confusion here; like why are they boys treated differently than the girls? We must remember, that though priests and minsters are supposed to be of and about God, they are mortal and have frailties and predispositions. As to who God really is, male or female, and all-knowing? I think that "God" is not infallible, he/she learns from their mistakes and tries hard to be perfect. I see the poet trying hard to see past the imperfections in the mirror to find themselves and hoping that they don't. This piece of work gives the reader something to think about, and that is what we try to do. ~ Geez.

It seems that the days and hours that people
are available for chatroom are staggered and
not a good match for most everyone. How about
if everyone just shows up at the door, whenever
they have a few free minutes?

my background is in psychology. i wondered if this would come across to those whose background is not. but we have so many things on tv etc, now i thought most people would know about the things i write of. repression, decompensation, disassociation due to sexual molestation. each line tells or shows something. the minister -and i used minister purposely because in the episcopalian church there are ministers not priests. and in that church with communion the wine is sipped it is not in the catholic church that i ever knew of. "where others see" is the indication that this minister wants to give the impression that he does not like girls (which he may not but he is covering his desire to molest the girls by acting hostile to them in front of others). every line has a purpose. her wondering about god refers to wondering about male, men in general since she is being molested. i don't really know why some people immediately get this and others don't. that is why i am putting it in different places to get reactions. i appreciate your taking time to read it and give input

author comment

meaning behind the line "where others see". [covering his desire to molest the girls.] I'm not sure that anyone would get that.
I took it to mean that he didn't approve of women holding positions of the ministry and in general, had contempt for females.
I myself, have a good deal of mistrust in religion. Not in spirituality; but in organized religion. I think that if everyone lived by the "Golden Rule". There would be no need for churches, rituals and all the sects and denominations. ~ Geez.

It seems that the days and hours that people
are available for chatroom are staggered and
not a good match for most everyone. How about
if everyone just shows up at the door, whenever
they have a few free minutes?

a Catholic I' can only try to guess the effect a priest could have on a child. Using the cracked mirror to reflect the slow shattering of faith is a good idea. Might want to check for a missing "s" in next to last stanza.

thanks. i did miss the s. it is not just faith that got ruined. it is her. my background is in psychology. i wondered how much of this would come across. i am talking also about repression, decompensation, disassociation. i am not a catholic. i stopped going to church at 12. but i was not molested by anyone there. i used minister as opposed to priest because the episcopalians drink a sip of wine at communion and i don't think the catholics do. thanks for reading and giving input. i really appreciate it

author comment

I enjoyed the progression. Liked the movement from mirror to church to growing up in the church to a mature view of life. The tempering fires of experience blended in with interpretations...

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how do you get a mature view of life from this? i am really curious? what is in it that makes you think she has a mature view of life. this is a poem about repression, decompensation and disassociation stemming from sexual molestation at a young age. i wondered if these things would come across, to those without a lot pf psychology in their background. i don't want to confuse any one. i really need to know what makes this look like she has developed a mature view of life? that is not my intent at all. i will appreciate your further feedback?

author comment

Showed a sort of maturity from girl to woman. Passage of time I guess was your intent, rather than a maturity.

Course, you start off with a woman too. Her fears, and memories. I really liked the descriptors, the language made me think about the contexts.

The shards of the mirror, showing very different views was novel to me, haven’t read much poetry using shards of broken mirror in it for so many different images.

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the ending is meant to show that she is on the brink of a total breakdown. the repressed memories, shown in latter part (which i have been advised is too explanatory and i agree) are trying to surface. the cracked mirror and shards represent the decompensation (psychological term) of her psyche. she has never matured. she is stuck - still inside a little girl who can't deal with what happened. thanks always for your input. input helps me a great deal

author comment

this poem hits very close to was a thing I feared greatly due to the rage and darkness of our minister. We were of the "Seventh Day Adventist" religion, when I was a little girl. to make matters worse, as a preteen, my much older brother-in-law habitually sexually abused me. from one authority figure to another...I prayed to "GOD" to make it stop...I begged for it to stop! I told my sisters and mother about it and was accused of lying and making up stories so I wouldn't have to babysit his children! the sister who's husband it was, demanded a written apology from me...I told her to shove it! then when he molested his daughter, my sister wanted me to go to court and testify as to my abuse for her parental custody suit. and I never got an apology from anyone. I think it helps to write about these things, it's cathartic. I hope that you are doing well.

*hugs, Cat

I'm o.c.d., clinical depressed and have did or wats more commonly known as mpd

When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

i am sorry about what happened to you. this poem is not autobiographical. "never let the truth stand in the way of a good poem" although i don't consider it at the good stage yet. i do a lot of revision after getting critique everyplace i can. i do know of course about sexual abuse of kids - who does not? my background is in psychology. i stopped going to church at 12. some of the minister's attributes here are true of an odd minister we had, but he was not a pedophile to my knowledge. i did not write this for any catharsis. if i get it where i think it is good enough to be considered for publication, there are places wanting psychological poetry and poetry relating to mental health. i so appreciate your input. i saw your poem about your cat. a lovely tribute. i will admit that i often prefer animals to people, excluding my dear friends. sometime when i have time, i will tell you about my cat ebony. i have had a black male cat named ebony since 1970, when i bought the only cat i ever paid for in, of all places, the housewares section of a department store. since then, when i have lost an ebony, i have never sought out another, but within no more than four months, one has appeared in my life through some very strange ways that cannot be called coincidence. not for 40 years. i believe in reincarnation. i believe this is the same cat spirit coming back. i have also had many other cats and dogs, and i raised reptiles and 20 years ago i had over 50 of them from all over the world, all in big natural habitats with live plants, running water etc. my female jackson chameleon, zoey, (they have live babies) had 23 live babies, some born in my hand. one of the great thrills of my life. i am on face book as cathy mccormick with a profile pic of a little white dog if you would like to be friends.

author comment

my real name is Caitlin, but I prefer to be called Cat. I would like to be friends with you, but I don't do either facebook or twitter. how about through e-mail? I could p.m. you my e-mail addy? my alter ego has a website for eddy styx you can reach it at the bottom of my comment box. thank you for reading my poem about our cat Benny, it is appreciated. we just adopted a new russian blue cat named Mia.we have another one named Shadow. I believe in reincarnation, too, and karma. my husband, Steve, is a software engineer. are cats are family :)

*hugs, Cat
ever eddy

When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

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