A beautiful debutant,

In her own glazed, lined eyes;

Shy of the admiring glances

Yet fully aware of how she

Holds court amongst

The young men,

Fool hardy and keen to



She can’t understand

Why they don’t ask her to dance

Or they don’t steal a kiss,

When the sun comes down

And songs play out.

She often preens,

Pinching at her sagging cheeks,

Gazing in the mirror,

Wondering what her man,

Her one true love, will

Be like, when he finally shows his



Sometimes, though, she startles

When she catches a

Glimpse of her glistening silver

Hair, and her sunken eyes, and

Her drooping mouth, now lined

And unfurled, and she doesn’t know

Who it is that looks



But often she sees, quite clearly,

This lady in the mirror- her mother?

Grandmother? -she’s familiar,

Like someone…..someone,

Whom she used to know.

She’s beautiful, still, though time has

Ticked past.

Possibly more beautiful now,

She thinks, as she sees her own daughter

In this skin and bone,

Her beautiful little girl-

Debutant, new mother, grandmother

Now, herself.

It’s such a shame, she often thinks,

That many only recognise beauty

Within certain



And it is a shame, as they

Will never see what this lady-

This debutant, mother, grandmother, old lady-

Sees in the mirror,

Or in a window pane or in

Her mind’s eye,

For it’s all the



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