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A pantoum by Michele Mattice

Family Photo
by Michele Mattice

The furrows on my mother’s face
frame her features, like a photo
of a warm, familiar place
as comfortable as home.

Her features—a framed photo,
crinkled as fine linen
and comfortable as home—
tell a story, draw me in.

Linen-crinkled skin
pulls her coffee-colored eyes
into a squint, as I’m drawn in
to the depth of her soft smile.

Her coffee-colored eyes
dance as memories, retold,
deepen her soft smile,
each worth more than gold.

We dance to stories told—
a near-century of life—
treasured more than gold;
years as mother, teacher, wife.

A near-century of life,
yet beauty never clearer.
Years as mother, teacher, wife
grace the face seen in the mirror.

Graceful beauty ever clearer,
born of a familiar place.
I look into the mirror,
I see my mother’s face.

Bio: "A native of upstate New York, I currently reside in Indianapolis with my husband and son. I have studied poetry under Shari Wagner, Micah Ling, Allison Joseph and Karen Kovacik at the IWC and various other venues. I have had two poems published by Bereavement Magazine; 'Broken Vessel' in the October 2010 e-magazine, and “Treasure Chest” in the Winter 2010 issue."