News Poetry: Mirror Words

News Poetry: Mirror Words

A new year starts

appearing as a blank slate

but its history is already written

in the dust of treaties,

the land-mine refuse of war,

the increased opulence of the rich,

the skinny-ribbed orphan’s unheard, “Mama,”

the refugee’s grasp for a grain of rice.

All written on a mirror

so we read it backwards

and never quite understand.



Photo credit: LabrynthX, Creative Commons, Flickr 

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About the Author

Doann Houghton-Alico

Doann Houghton-Alico is a prize-winning author of both poetry and technical books. Her most recent book is a travel memoir, Voice of a Voyage: Rediscovering the World During a Ten-year Circumnavigation, published by Sunstone Press. She and her husband sailed over 43,000 nautical miles and visited forty-one countries during their circumnavigation. She lives in the Colorado Rockies, but still spends time on the ocean. Visit her at and check out the other topics in her blog also.


  1. Dee Dubin on said:

    Strong poem. In just a few words powerful visual images arise. I agree we want a new slate but there is so much baggage to deal with. Thanks for stating and sharing Doann.

  2. Paula on said:

    Evocative and beautiful in such a painful way. May we learn to see the truth in the mirror.Thank you, dear friend.

  3. Rosalie Turner on said:

    Thanks for this powerful, beautifully heartbreaking poem! Everyone should read this.

  4. Alex Drummond on said:

    She knows and does so well what too many poets won’t touch. The refugee, the skinny-ribbed orphan have been seen and heard. Thank you Doann.

  5. Gayla Phelps on said:

    A true understanding through life experiences, heartfelt and beautifully expressed, leaves one to ponder on so many levels.

  6. Betsy Poulos on said:

    Thank you Doann for speaking for those of us who share your thoughts but lack the eloquence and gift you have to put them into words.

  7. Viara Giraffe on said:

    Poignant reminder of our potential to and our responsibility for re-establishing social constructs, regardless how destructive they have been.

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