Twenty-five years later, I look through my mother's purse from a new perspective.
|Mother, here I am,
although I never thought I'd find myself
again a little girl
in this, your private world.
I used to try You on?
With different purpose, now,
I touch the gentle canvas of your purse,
release the clasp,
and find the Jergens still on top.
Your lotion soothed me -- it was love
and all your riches, freely given,
formed a blanket on my skin.
A little deeper, creamy mauve
in slender casing always took my mind
to Cupid's arrows, falling,
working spells on men.
I'd always hoped to riddle them,
mysterious as you,
but I was lucky just to bleed
my shallow kisses on their sheets.
Now, in finding wads of Kleenex
stuffed in every crumpled corner,
I find meaning --
strictly practical, I think.
So much like me -- they dry the sorrow,
clear the sickness, smudge the lines,
my life a blur since Daddy woke me
with his call.
I can see a smile reflecting underneath your keys.
Your wallet offers cover, flashing photographs
that prove that I exist. I grip the vinyl, hand the nurse
the plastic card, and pray they fight to keep you well.
I catch a glimpse -- your mirror captures me
and lifts me from the depths -- I see the girl
you always knew, but through the eyes of one who's grown.
I find a part of you in me, and with it, also find myself.