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This poem is taken from PN Review 219, Volume 41 Number 1, September - October 2014.

‘What I See in the Mirror’ and Other Poems Becky Cullen
What I See in the Mirror

A deep line that lags my face into a frown.
The way my cheeks sag, the loss of firm skin
around my mouth. My neck like a vacuum
cleaner pipe; a roosting place for flocks
of chins. In my small sharp eyes, brimming
with the undertow, the clarity of rage.
I make sounds like laughter, slightly louder
and more hearty; scoop hope out of a jar,
apply a thick layer, nightly.



How to Hang Washing

It must be spring. There should be blackthorn
blossom, a smudge of sun across your cheek.

From your patch of earth, you’ll hear the crest
of chatter from the playground at the school.

These pegs nip snugly, in time with magpie
...


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