Susan McLean, "The Mirror's Desolation"



Once you adored me.  I would bask
in looks you saved for me alone,
giving no hint—if any ask—
of secrets only I have known.
But now you find me hard to face. 
I care for you too much to lie,
copying lines you would erase.
You hurry past, head down, and I,
sensing your pained indignity,
return your look of mute distress.
Though you no longer cherish me,
I do not love you any less.


Susan McLean is a professor of English at Southwest Minnesota State University. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Hunger Mountain, Atlanta Review, Kalliope, Measure, and Free Inquiry.  McLean's first full-length poetry collection, The Best Disguise, won the 2009 Richard Wilbur Award and was published by the University of Evansville Press.