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‘The Pocket Mirror’

Born from the belly of a Christmas cracker
Stomach ripped apart and I fireworked into her world
my birth announced by a muted crash and a sombre joke.

I remained a closed up tinted truth
lodged sub-sofa for
five dark and lights.

She found me, her warm hand
scooped me up and pocketed me
into a denim womb.

I listened to her family rows. I imagined her smiles and frowns.
I am reborn every time she opens me.

My outside imitates a scallop, black edges fanned in ridges fixed in opalescent black polyethylene.
Metal jaws hinge my edges. She opens me up.
Pries me apart.

Closes herself down.
As I force her to focus on her own face.

She showed me her first black eye.
Bloodied veins radiating from a crushed cornflower.
I told her the truth she didn’t want to hear.

He’s not going to stop now. This will be the first of many.
She snapped me shut and left me

for a while. It was easier than leaving him.

Her swollen face reduced to the size of a locket.
She wore the thought around her neck.

Every glimpse she offered me,
I photographed and filed.
The archive’s filling up

I’m feeling nostalgic
for unblemished, unbruised skin.

I’ve always done my duty, told her truths she couldn’t see.

She fabricates reality. I show a simple circle

of who she really isn’t
but also a glimpse
of who
she really could be.

Annie Bennett sleeps and dreams and writes in the beautiful shire of Devon. She believes in giving voices to those who have theirs taken or have not discovered them yet; including her younger selves. She loves learning about the world and has the pleasure of teaching teenagers in the real world. She was delighted to be shortlisted for the Teignmouth Poetry prize where she found reading blinded by a spotlight surprisingly fun.

“This poem began a long time ago, but found its fullness during Jennie Osborne’s Poetry School course Tiny Timebombs. It has since been shortlisted for the 2017 Teignmouth Open Poetry Competition.”


  • justine

    Annie this is such a memorable poem, so glad you put it on the campus site. I am doing a PhD withe the subject ‘revising poetry’,. looking at how poets revision or alter their work..Would you be willing to be skyped or fill in a survey form/ to share how you revise your work? I will be asking a lot of poets in UK( I live in Australia which makes coming to the uk a bit of a mission.)
    Any how if you would be willing. I will be doing the Memories poetry course in a week or so , This is the fifth course I have done. I can ring you if you would prefer it. regards justine Newport

  • Annie Bennett

    Hi Justine. Thanks for your message. Happy to help! Please send me link to survey form. Thanks.

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Image Credits:

Donna Pool