LOVERLY BY ROCHELLE JEWEL SHAPIRO

I miss the coffee cups imprinted with your Tangee Red lips, Mother, 

your dark brown hair set in waves with silver clips, Mother.

I miss hearing you belt out. Ah, wouldn't that be loverly? in your mother's cockney, Mother.

I even miss your ashtray heaped with tamped-out cigs, Mother.

Sometimes in the half light or in the dark of dreams I get a glimpse of you 

at the lit round mirror of your vanity table, skin translucent as your nylon slip, Mother.

Sometimes there's a fret line between your overly plucked brows 

or you grimace as if pulling your Playtex girdle over your hips, Mother. 

I never sense you looking directly at me, Mother.

I reach, but you don't touch my fingertips, Mother. 

It's Rochelle, I said when I visited you at the Home.

You blinked at me. "Who?" you asked. An apocalypse, Mother. 

February 5, 2021