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Ruth Taaffe: a poem


The bathroom cabinet held a mirror

that held back razorblades,

smokers' tooth polish, creams

which had become a mystery

to themselves. When I climbed

on the toilet at three years old

I knew I was not inside the cabinet

even though there I was –

the full collection of my features

as I knew them to be –

mouth, two eyes, nose.

But I was searching for more to me

and thought it could be behind the glass.

Balancing even further on tiptoes,

so sure of myself, the sharp corner

my only handle –

I found the metal weight

of razor much heavier

than I could have guessed.

When I sliced open my chin

the blood paused

then set a new red free.

Ruth Taaffe is from Manchester, UK, and lives in Singapore, where she teaches English. She has completed a Masters degree in Creative Writing with Lancaster University. Some of her poems have been published in The Poetry Village, Acumen and Poetry Birmingham.


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