poetry

Mirror, Mirror Under The Rainbow. {poetry}

Once upon a time, a girl thought she couldn’t be happy until she was thin.

With symbols from The Wizard of Oz, then Snow White, and in the context of mother-daughter relationships, the following poems contain bits of the clarity this girl received. Maybe my story will remind you of your own limiting story about who you are and how that relates to your well-being.

What is it about fairy tales that makes them rise like magic amidst the commotion of current culture? The similar themes are told, retold, and reinvented. Our stories grow with us, and we share them.

As a child, I listened as my mother read from a big mauve book of tales, fables, and myths. On the cover a bejeweled Tsar sat majestically on a Persian horse inspiring me to scribble self-portraits on the title page. The imagery and concepts of those legends linger.

As a mother, I know that my words, like the words of my own mother, will return to my children throughout their lives as they seek happily-ever-after.

***

The Dream of Oz Happened Here at Home

“I’ve always taken ‘The Wizard of Oz’ very seriously, you know. I believe in the idea of the rainbow. And I’ve spent my entire life trying to get over it.” ~ Judy Garland

My mother tells me, as a toddler,

I watched the Wizard of Oz,

Watched, rewound, re-watched,

And I never moved.

Hands on my hips, tummy out, I stood

Wondering which fat munchkin

I would be in Munchkinland. Now as

Dorothy sings, “Somewhere over the rainbow,”  I ask,

How does she recognize a rainbow in black and white?

Wouldn’t those escaping little bluebirds blend into that blue sky?

My mother asks how much I weigh.

“I gained weight from the weekend we ate Kentucky Fried Chicken 

And dried sugared papaya together.”

“It’s okay,” she says. She means it.

But I shred another pair of jeans between my thighs

Following this black asphalt road.

I don’t have ruby slippers,

And I don’t want my troubles to melt like lemon drops

Because lemon drops only melt when you put them in your mouth.

Maybe no one told Frances Ethel Gumm, performing as Baby Gumm,

“It’s okay,” and meant it.

Because later as she became Judy Garland, she

Was given pep pills

By her mother

To keep her moving.

MGM gave her amphetamines

To keep her thin,

Then fired her for being an emotionally unstable addict.

She died from an overdose.

Now I want to know why the dreams that you dare to dream

Can’t come true in Kansas

Or somewhere else under the rainbow,

Like here, in these fraying jeans.

Dorothy Gale learned that there was “no place like home,”

But, really, she didn’t ever leave her home, right?

She always had her rainbow, and

She never moved.

***

Inhale, My Fairest

 

My baby smiles widest

to herself in the mirror.

Why isn’t my reflection smiling?

I ask this as I fold in a Yoga pose,

downward-facing dog, more specifically.

I see the back bottom half of my body

on the wall of mirrors in Holos Yoga studio.

 

All the years of my life I’ve been with myself

not even knowing the fat and bones of my own thighs

as I know the design of a recently purchased rug,

just where in the kitchen drawer to grab for a spoon,

and the creases in my daughter’s new snowy skin.

How does she, so soon in living,

Already know her own face and unboxed heart?

Why do I believe her to be the fairest one

Of all, and yet, she looks like me?

 

Rather than expecting the answers from the mirror

Mirror on the wall, I breathe.

I raise my leg… as if you have a scorpion

Stinger, my Yoga teacher says playfully

Because there isn’t anyone to poison,

Not even myself, more specifically.

Someday I’ll have the balance to stand

In Tree Pose long enough to grow apples,

Apples that are better

For their seeds and cores–

Healthy enough for my daughter to eat.

But for now I exhale.

I sink my roots into Happy Baby Pose,

Unweaving my legs toward my heart

To practice loving my own wide thighs.

***

TrishaKcBuelWheeldonTrisha Kc Buel Wheeldon did her Yoga teacher training at 3B Yoga, and studied creative writing at Brigham Young University, Idaho. When she’s not making up metaphors for her life philosophy while pretending to clean, Trisha watches YouTube videos about the theory of relativity, repeatedly fails at singing ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’, and walks in and out of the kitchen deciding what to eat. She claims the entire West Coast as home, but she currently fully enjoys living on the Florida panhandle with her husband, son, and daughter. Connect with her at her website, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

***

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