The mirror speaks of ancestral
sternness and the burden of my duties
striated around my eyes,
I see their foreheads rising skyward, relentless, proud
and I can sense their frenzy in my will to rule
I do my best to shade their genes with receding bangs.
Their tightened jaws are stern, paternal
but I chew it, pretending that I smile.
Their chromosomes are mine
but the way they ruled with rage is gone,
their world has crumbled, and has left me looking
for the face my mothers handed me.
For Kim writing about portraits at toads. I looked at myself in this, and saw my two grandfathers and thought what they had given me.
May 25, 2019