Monday, July 10, 2017




As a girl I didn’t believe the image as
I viewed my visage
the reflection not what I expected
as much as I saw myself I didn’t see me
I didn’t trust the vision of that person
sometimes feeling as if I were outside
of myself looking at this body
always judging it to be lacking
the face too plain and the smile too wide
my backside too large and breasts too small
and since I never saw the real me I never knew
the real girl who stared back
for I believed this girl too fat, too ugly, too flat chested
unlike Snow White’s wicked stepmother’s
mirror mirror on the wall
mine always answered not you and never you

so I walked through life with this image
and then the world discovered me
a naive teen who would saunter
past store windows afraid to peek at herself
this deluded girl who wondered why suddenly
men were yelling out of car windows
entreating her attention, whistling as she passed,
wanted to place herself into a paper bag to hide
from the unwanted sudden attention
wanted to take cover in her room
and crawl under blankets
to escape the peeling of her psyche’s skin
under the microscope of the light of the
reflection of the mirrors in the eyes of
unknown men who saw a different image

when she stared again at the familiar girl
the flat surface of the mirror revealing
only the same imperfections she saw all the time
she wondered if her mind’s eye were clouded
by the sad thoughts conjured each day
contemplating the reason for this distortion —
the contrast between her brain’s message
and the reality of this
new blown reflection in strangers’ eyes
and still not trusting the platitudes of her parents —
she placed it all inside of her
never believing her mirror until
a young man sauntered into her life
and when she saw her true image
in the mirror of his eyes
she embraced the glittering glow
reflecting into her own
in that moment she became
the vision of her dreams and
no longer needed the mirror
for she had the truth in the
sharp eyed gaze of her hazel-eyed love


Love can’t be dissected
it doesn’t lie there like
a specimen waiting for
someone to uncover
its secret
the tantalizing thread
it casts cannot be seen
until too late and then
there you are in the net
caught by the gossamer
delight of the thrill

no roller coaster ride
can duplicate the
charge that connects
you to the other
forever in a wild and
crazy dance through
the years and you
swirl with the changes
as the whirlpool sucks
you deeper into its vortex


What I would give for one more moment of your soft fur againstmy cheek and your head on my lapfor one more dayspent watchingyour tail swish backand forth and yourpink tongue lap myface
The black and whitefur-ness of you asyou commanded thespace in which you weremajestic as a king; youcomforted my daughtersas they lay against yourmassive body and youserved as their bean bagchair content to accommodatetheir toddler shapes
You were my comfortwhen all human companyfailed and I miss theexuberance of your welcome,your whole body shaking backand forth as it leapt upwardforgetting your mannersto lick me hello.  No welcome will everbe as sweet.


BARBARA EHRENTREU grew up in Brooklyn and moved to Queens. She has lived and taught in Long Island, Buffalo, NY and Westchester, NY as well as a year in Los Angeles, CA. She has a Masters Degree in Reading and Writing K-12. Currently she is retired from teaching and living in Stamford, CT with her family. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor won second prize in Preditors & Editors as Best Young Adult Book for 2011. It was inspired by Paula Danziger for her children's writing workshop at Manhattanville College. Her second book, After, considers what can happen to a teen when her father becomes ill with a heart attack. It is based on her own experiences when her husband had a heart attack and the aftermath of what she and her family experienced. She is preparing the sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor. Barbara also writes poetry. She has a book called You’ll Probably Forget Me: Living With and Without Hal, which is a memorial to her deceased husband. Several of her poems are published in the anthologies,World Poetry Open Mic, Prompted: An International Collection of Poetry, Beyond the Dark Room,Storm Cycle and Backlit Barbell. Barbara has a blog, Barbara's Meanderings, and she hosts a radio show on Blog Talk Radio, Red River Radio Tales from the Pages, once a month. She is a member of Greenwich Pen Letters and SCBWI. Place of origin: United States Language:  English Nationality: American Place of living:  Stamford, CT.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for fixing this formatting. It is not the one I sent, but at least the words are separated. I am very honored to be here with so many great poets.