In Mum’s en-suite
Plush pink carpet under bare feet
It is any day in 1989
I am fifteen
She stands next to me
Close
We stare into the mirror
Simultaneously
She frowns
Every time we do this
Her longer, older face
Is compared and contrasted
To mine:
Round, full and lively
We both comment
On how neither of us
Looks like the other
Her eyes are tired
Her neck slack
She looks so sad
I say, pertly:
“I think I have dainty features”
She nods but says nothing
Her lips a horizontal line
Her brow ferocious
At fifteen there is no reason
For me
To not feel beautiful
No reason
To feel anything
Other than triumphant
With wide eyes
And searching fingertips
I touch my face
Ensure it’s firmly welded
To my skull
And exit the room

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