Thursday, September 15, 2016


By Amber Counts
September, 2016

I sit at my grandmother’s vanity,
And her eyes stare back at me.
Well, not her eyes, exactly –
Mine lack that degree of warmth –
Her twinkle of wisdom –
But the knitted eyebrows are there –
Furrows that rise into dramatic peaks
When worried about my family
Or relax into sophisticated arches
When at peace,
Over pools of empathic blue.

I used to open the drawers
And peer inside with the excitement
Only a child can muster at the wonders within –
Lipstick tubes made of metal from long ago,
Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
And the trial-size gifts with purchase
That accompanied it,
Wrinkle creams that were utterly unnecessary
On the smoothest, kindest face.
Beauty from within belied the years,
As youth was always a state of mind.

My arms rest on the smooth edge
Of the worn, wooden top
Where the paint has eroded away
Under decades of graceful arms resting there –
Arms that wrapped around me
In hugs that enveloped me in love,
And it pains me that those embraces
Live only in my memory.
So I place my arms alongside the ghosts of hers
And wonder:
Will my arms mean as much to the world?