Emma and Dorthea Consider Rejection

The girls are back!   And I have more rejected poems.  The theme was “masks.”  One problem is that I do not interpret the theme to the satisfaction of the editors who are looking to publish something coherent.   I do not seem to cohere properly.  Here’s one of the misfits, including what “inspired” me.

The inspiration for my poem, “The Truth is Not in the Mirror,” is an exhibition brochure I received from the Haggerty Museum of Art atMarquette University in Milwaukee.  The brochure contained sample photographs from an upcoming exhibit entitled, The Truth is Not in the Mirror:  Photography and a Constructed Identity.  One photo is of a woman positioned on a deck overlooking Monument Valley.  She looks over her shoulder at the viewer. The photo is titled, “Nicole, Monument Valley, 2010.”

 

The Truth is Not in the Mirror

You find yourself somewhere

and you ask, “Who am I? Who shall I be?”

So you construct an identity.

You are already tough: hard and guarded.

You decide to be something else.

Open.  As open as the plain

that stretches beyond the horizon.

Even flat land is shot with obstacles

that say, “Halt, you cannot go there.”

The pain of ‘no’ shows in the circles

beneath tired eyes, in tangled hair;

but your guard dissolves like shadows

fading in the glare of the sun.

You open your heart to the wind and rain,

and lie on your back to wait for the dawn.

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