musings, life lessons & poetry from Theresa Jarosz Alberti

Poem: What You Cannot Erase

Greetings from this way-too-cold-and-snowy Minneapolis morning. In an effort to write more, connect more, blog more, I bring you the first installment of Poetry Monday. Have a great day!

{Dedicated to those estranged from family}

What You Cannot Erase

Here in my mirror
in a fleeting glance,
sometimes your brown eyes
look back at me,
the thin lips of your smile,
or that expression I used
to see on your face.
At midlife now
I recognize
your chin, your jowls.
It’s always a surprise,
strangely not

I know, gloatingly,
that you must see
it too–
my face sometimes
looking back at you,
the mirror like a
secret passageway,
a messenger
no matter
the disagreements,
unresolved feelings,
or silence,
you cannot erase my face.

I almost laugh
when I see it,
like a joke Nature has
played on us:
you cannot erase me.
I cannot erase you.
Even if nothing
ever resolves,
(I hope it resolves)
we are ever linked
in a dance
of DNA and mirrors.

I wouldn’t erase any of it.
This path has brought me
here today, linking onward
to my children,
and the future.
It’s history,
painful and exhilarating
and I will never
stop wrestling
with it
until it blesses me
and makes me stronger.
It will
make me

[Photos courtesy of Danny-G-528854 and Marc-Olivier-Jodoin of]


  1. Shari

    Wow. Deeply felt and delivered.

  2. Serena

    Wow. Right On The Money for a lot of us, especially as holidays creep up. Thanks, Theresa.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks, S! I realized that after I posted it, how appropriate it is for many, especially this time of year.

  3. Linda

    Deeply written; deeply felt.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Glad you enjoyed it, Linda!

  4. Ayanna

    Wow. Your words always move me so…Thank you for this. Thank you.

    • Theresa Alberti

      I’m honored that this meant something to you, my friend!

  5. Ann Agrimson

    Powerful and simple. Well done!

  6. Christine

    Love this!

    • Theresa Alberti

      That means a lot, Christine!

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