Life turns in circles,

Cycles within wheels

like Chinese ivory balls.

In front of your wide vanity mirror,

You looked at yourself

and sighed with a deep sadness.

I was beautiful once, you said.

You are beautiful now, I said.

careful to cover your eyelids with

a fine layer of light blue powder.

I waited for you to stop looking

at your reflection in the glass.

I'm getting old, you said.

You are as old as you feel, I said.

I am now the age you were then.

My girl is the age I was then.

Don't worry about the lines, she says,

As she brushes away smudged lipstick 

from my mouth.

And I think of you.

How you worried,

How you do still.

I think about how beautiful you are

And were,

And I think of the circle of life.

- for mum, 2005