by Hannah, 15
Ellicott City, Maryland
When I was a child, my mother braided my hair.

Each morning, in front of the enormous mirror

she sat me on a too tall wooden stool,

and created a long toffee-colored plait

as my eyes met their reflection.

Each time I found them different.

One day they were my favorite blue crayon;

the next, the faded robin’s egg of my school jumper.

Other days, blueberries, the unnaturally azure toothpaste-

Even twins to my favorite periwinkle shoes.


Now, though they say I have matured,

I still cleave to this habit.

Each morning, in front of the low hung mirror

I sit in my cotton PJ’s upon the wooden floor-

the feel of it so similar to that of the stool-

as my eyes meet their reflection.

Each time I find them different.

My mind is undecipherable as ancient script,

but my eyes decrypt the mind’s dead language.

Sometimes they are worrisome, wistful, wary,

others, dauntless; illuminated by determination.

On occasion my eyes are smug, capable of a roll or wink.

When weighed with sorrows, they rain like the somber sky.

They are the links to my past

and the projectors of my present, my future.

Each day my eyes meet themselves, I see her.

I see the school jumper and the shoes,

the feet that dangle down off the stool-

still too short to touch the ground.


These eyes recreate the child.

The one with a long toffee-colored plait,

the one with the blue crayon eyes.



Written in response to "Nothing In that Drawer" by Ron Padgett's poem.