Life Story – a poem by Diane Elayne Dees

Life Story

Our self-portraits, rendered dense by pentimento,
reveal the paths we took, and those we feared—
while the stories of our lives are so much cento,
that who we are is never really clear.
Are those our thoughts, or are they someone else’s?
How much of what we went through is repressed?
We’ve worn so many masks, they’re now like faces
that change without our knowledge. Is it best
to know that we may never see our souls
revealed in any but the dimmest light?
Perhaps we need to give up all the roles
that have defined us—but do we want unfiltered sight?
Our layers thicken as our years increase;
do we dare to peel them off and welcome peace?

Diane Elayne Dees is the author of the chapbook, Coronary Truth (Kelsay Books); she has two other chapbooks forthcoming. Diane, who lives in Covington, Louisiana, also publishes Women Who Serve, a blog that delivers news and commentary on women’s professional tennis throughout the world.

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