“Doppelgänger” by Diane Elayne Dees

(Robert Gordy, Untitled Face)

She appears to be Neanderthal, her face
is flat, her nose quite broad, her forehead high.
Her jaw is square, her mouth a gaping space;
a pupil seems to pop out of each eye.
It may just be the way her ancient skull
is structured, but she looks so terrified,
as if her very essence has been dulled,
and she can neither scream for help nor cry.

I see her every day, framed on my wall,
and my sadness for her cannot be contained.
I feel for her, her grief, but most of all—
I feel for my own loss, my constant pain.
I look at her and relive my own trauma;
she looks back at me, intimating karma.



Diane Elayne Dees’s chapbook, I Can’t Recall Exactly When I Died, is forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House; also forthcoming, from Kelsay Books, is her chapbook, Coronary Truth. Diane’s microchap, Beach Days, is available for download and folding from the Origami Poems Project site. Diane, who lives in Covington, Louisiana, publishes Women Who Serve, a blog that delivers news and commentary on women’s professional tennis throughout the world. Her author blog is Diane Elayne Dees: Poet and Writer-at-Large.

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