Old Photograph in High
School Yearbook, Modern
Dance Club
by Lyn Lifshin

The one photograph
I liked, glasses
off so my eyes
looked enormous,
deer’s eyes brown
thru hair of leaves.
Here, my legs
don’t look so bad,
small lines be
hind my knees like
road maps to where
I didn’t believe
anybody would travel
blur that year I
studied how to
stand at basket
ball games to not
look fat.  I still
know which mirrors
my legs look longer
in, as long as
I wear black
tight tights, am
amazed at where
they’ve taken me

by Lyn Lifshin

photo, the only one I
wanted David to see,
my eyes enormous
chunks, maybe the
first time I
believed I was
pretty.  My father
just said light
lipstick doesn’t
do much for your
teeth.  I hated
prancing around
for him in a
new dress just be
cause my mother said,
“Rosalyn, show your
father.”  I couldn't
understand women
not wanting to be
let known they
looked sexy.  In my
glasses and science
contest suits I won
first prize.  In the
yearbook I was
the one to live
among bunsen burners,
raise bees on some
deserted island,
discover Nobel
Prize winning cures.
I’d rather have
been a cheerleader,
legs like Joyce
Menard’s, flashing
bare under an
orange micro mini,
spreading on back
seats in Bomoseen.
It’s taken 47 books,
10 ballet classes
a week, skin wrapped
in shimmery black
danskin or leather,
too many men to
find what I see
in the mirror
at the barre

by Lyn Lifshin

stretches your
muscles but
doesn’t leave
you raw inside
what you reach
for is in your
control  gets
you into shape
not out of it
When you spread
and open there
will be nothing
to look back
on with


Lyn Lifshin’s Another Woman Who Looks Like Me was recently
published by Black Sparrow at
David Godine (October 2006).  The
book has been selected for the 2007 Paterson Award for Literary
Excellence for previous finalists of the Paterson Poetry Prize.  Lifshin’s
recent books and chapbooks also include
The Licorice Daughter:
My Year with Ruffian
(Texas Review Press), Before It’s Light and
Cold Comfort (Black Sparrow), In Mirrors (Presa Press), and The
Daughter I Don’t Have
(Plan B Press).  Lifshin has published more
than 120 books of poetry, won awards for her nonfiction, and edited
four anthologies of women’s writing.  Her poems have appeared in
most literary and poetry magazines (including a
previous issue of the
Apple Valley Review), and she is the subject of an award-winning
documentary film,
Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass.  For interviews,
photographs, more biographical material, reviews, interviews, samples
of work, and more, her web site is located at

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 3, Number 1
(Spring 2008)

Copyright © 2008
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.

In the Mirror at Ballet My
Face Looks Like It Does in
the Modern Dance Photo
in an Old High School
Ballet Instead of Men