The Moment When You Realise

You have been a familiar landscape to yourself,
all these years of seeing your reflection in mirrors,
shop windows, the still surface of a pond.

You thought you knew the prospect of your frown,
the parallel lines of your smile and the curves
of your hills and valleys. Until one day,

at a family gathering, when people are taking selfies,
group photographs and a special one of you,
you take out the collection of your life’s faces

and realise that the landscape has shifted:
it is inhabited by imposters in your skin,
and you were the one who let them in.

Kim M. Russell, 12th December 2019

Image result for paintings and artwork of hold woman looking in a mirror#
‘Old Woman at the Mirror’ by Bernardo Strozzi – image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

My response to Poets United Midweek Motif: A/The Moment, also linked to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night

In Sumana’s last prompt for Poets United, her Midweek Motif revolves around moments. She has quoted Bobby Fischer and Abraham Maslow, as well as sharing examples of poems about moments from Margaret Atwood, Rumi and the translation of a poem by Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska.

60 thoughts on “The Moment When You Realise

  1. How I love this poem! I too felt I “have been a familiar landscape . . . ” And then, OH! Imposters. Realizations. It hasn’t been easy to still see age 25 at age 68. And then to love 68 and re familiarize myself . . . . SHARING!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE the idea of impostors in our skin. It telieves us of responsibility, lol. I remember looking in the mirror at fifty, and seeing my grandmother’s face looking back at me. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel much younger than I am and it’s a shock when I can’t do things. My hands caused problems and I can’t open jars and bottles, and often drop things.


    1. I think everyone has different faces for different people and occasions, and we often don’t realise it. I wonder what the world would be like if we just had the one face.


  3. Love Lisa’s comment /I feel like a rich painting on the inside/. As a former actor who did resume photos regularly, and a consummate Selfie nut, I have welcomed old age into my reflection. As an actor, poet and teacher I applaud the character now residing in my face.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is wonderfully deep and wise, Kim! ❤️ I especially love; “You thought you knew the prospect of your frown, the parallel lines of your smile and the curves of your hills and valleys.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great poem. I guess we sadly succumb to playing different roles at different stages in our lives. It’s even sadder if we don’t recognise ourselves when all is said and done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a wonderful reflection (pun intended) to contemplate. I barely recognize myself sometimes and I try to look at what I was, what I am and what I strive to be. Sometimes I can’t look at all.

    I do appreciate that you offered these words up and it caused a few thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great capture of that moment Kim — it seems like we all have a fixed imago of ourselves somewhere in our 30s, and when we meet up with our aging face in mirrors, we wonder Who is that old person? Fluidly and gently put here with a certain reflexion of yesterday’s national election in the UK. Who are we now?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brendan. Once again, we’ve woken up to disappointing election results and wondering how much worse it can get. More homelessness, the dismantling of the NHS and goodbye to the EU, including the laws that protected us and gave us some equality. God only knows what will happen to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


  8. SMiLes i couldn’t
    Be Happier that
    i don’t Recognize
    my Self as who i
    was Just Now hehe..
    For it is New Colors
    of Life No Matter What
    they are that are so much
    Growing at
    All DarK Thru LiGHT
    Humans Who Never
    Climate ChangeE
    Even If They
    Could Now
    Will Surely
    Go into
    Ice Age
    at Any Age
    of Iceberg Life
    Even a Titanic
    of Politics won’t
    Change A View oF Lie..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think there are many version of self living inside our human shell. There is the woman, the inner child, the poet and the perhaps the dreamer. Perhaps, in the reflective glass we see what appears to us that day. Sometimes, I wonder where have the pieces of me gone?

    Liked by 1 person

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