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.