Cognitive Dissonance

Something is wrong with my mirror in the morning.
I step up close,
take a look.
That’s when I see her.

She looks familiar.
“Do I know you?” I ask.
Yes, of course! Those are Mom’s eyes!
“Is it you, Mom, come for a visit?”
She’s silent.
I look again.
“Is it you, Grandma?”
Scrambling to translate,
she doesn’t answer.

This one speaks my language:
“Oh, no!” she says, staring back at me:
My seventeen-year-old self looks out at that old woman
in my mirror.
“Oh, no!” I say.

Mary Elyn Bahlert, 8/2020