This was the year it all started slipping
my flesh grown tired, it loosened its grip
pooling in soft pockets along my jaws, over my eyes.
When alone, we smile less – this makes sense:
that it’s our friends who keep us young.
I stare at the Zoom mirror, as others log in,
lift my chin, and see if there is a way to escape
the awful truth of my crumbling features.
No, not here, sad one – but know you are not alone,
that others have grimaced at the same kind of ugly as you,
have tried angling the screen, doing their hair
but there is no escaping this harsh reflection
of a year of lonely struggle.
Hide self view and dream of reunions
of hugging and laughing the same air
We may all be older and saggier but
those times will be sweeter.
And remember to check a real mirror
after you have left the meeting,
you will be relieved to find
you are not as withered as you might have thought.
© Bea Lehmann 2021