Poems & Essays

20 Jun

I Tell Her Every Day She’s Beautiful

General/Column 2 Responses

but she can’t hear me
as she looks in the mirror and sees pop stars
and fashion photos
all the mind-boggling accessories
and cosmetics that promise to trade her “puffy eyes”
and “poofy hair” for confidence.

Let’s go for a walk.
The continental divide stretches like a cat before us.
Snowfall skirts the trees, bedazzles their branches.
The dogs run ahead, then back
goofy bliss blazing across their muzzles
and she laughs.

I’m reminded that 13 is a disease
for which the only cure is 14

and then there’s that lake of woes to cross
until, like a distant shore, 15 offers some respite

before 16 appears like a steamship you can’t wait to board
and then you’re off, free at last.

Honey, you’re beautiful, inside and out.
Don’t listen to any other voice.

She rolls her eyes
says something about my Mom goggles.
But she wants to believe. She’s grateful
and knows I’ll repeat it
until finally she gets it.
I won’t stop until she gets it.


Sandra S. McRae teaches writing at a college near Denver and writes about nature and domesticity, the political and the divine, and food and hunger of all kinds. Her prose poem chapbook The Magic Rectangle is forthcoming from Folded Word. Her poems appear in anthologies and journals, including Glass, Reunion, Word Soup, Rocks & Pebbles, and Mothers Always Write. Sandra is convinced that the little things–including you and me–are actually very big deals. Visit her at www.WordsRunTogether.com.

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Would you like to join the discussion? Feel free to contribute!

  1. Nicole

    June 22, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Beautiful, Sandy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Amy Simonson

    June 22, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    What a lovely poem! It touches on such specific nuances of these teen years. I have two teen daughters, and it is such a challenge to filter the messages they receive from society. You wrote beautifully about this time of life!


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