Barbara Simmons‘ poem: Doppelgangers, or could you be my twin?

It starts with recognition’s comfort until

your rapturous hello retreats

into a questioning look,

becoming disappointment that I,

supposedly another me,

am not the me you thought you knew.


I’ve learned there is a doppelganger, my

look-alike, out there, six or seven

of another me, shared genes and all,

creating not an apparition but a self

who shares the facial features I’ve grown

accustomed to, but in another world with

friends and family used to that reflection of myself

embedded in routines not mine.


Spotting a doppelganger, tradition says,

swirls bad luck around you, but knowing mine exists

helps me feel more connected to this world,

to this all too big, impersonal, and, yes, disjointed globe,

knowing someone somewhere carries my features

– eyes set somewhat close, nose with a small deviation,

lips that are a bit too full –

still, each with our own fingerprints,

each with hands touching differently our lives,

our eyes looking out at

faces from our parallel worlds

as if my friends were yours, my family tree related

to the many branches that your foliage has fallen from,

that our twinning is, indeed, a way to bring the world

Into our hands, to cup each other’s face, to say we

could be similar enough to halve life’s pain and share

its grace, lighten it,

be it, me for you,

you with me, doubling what may become

joy for both of us.

Barbara Simmons, a Bostonian and Californian, says both coasts inspire her. An alumna of Wellesley and Johns Hopkins’ Writing Seminars, and a retired educator, she savors life, envisions, celebrates, and understands with words. Some publications: Boston Accent, NewVerse News, Soul-Lit, Capsule Stories 2022: Swimming, and her book, Offertories: Exclamations and Disequilibriums.

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