LIP GLOSS INSTEAD
by Pamela Sayers
Because my mother loved lipstick,
I liven up when applying the sheerest rose colour.
But unpredictably, deep scarlet makes me sad.
Her smooth voice is always near;
with clarity I watch the clock’s hands move quickly.
I go to the cosmetic counter to look for the new
summer colours and a salesgirl asks if she can help.
I kiss a subtle mauve on my lips;
I buy a clear lip gloss instead.
My mother never wore lip gloss.
She only wore vibrant shades.
I buy a new lipstick every month;
line them up on my vanity, an unsatisfied obsession.
While living in New York she had a Siamese cat named Kimmy,
who sat on the sofa with her most evenings.
My mother died in September 2004, leaving me
a box of brooches encrusted with faux jewels, but no lipstick.
Nearly nine years later, I can still see her rouged lips.
From my purse I take out a compact mirror and apply a garnet
tone; I put on my strappy shoes, grab my sweater.
While walking out the door I remember my mother
telling me lipstick makes a girl feel pretty.
1 November 2014
Bio: Pamela Sayers is an English teacher living in Mexico. She traded in her city high heels for Doc Martens and a different, spicier life thirteen years ago. She writes mostly about what she sees going on around her. She now lives a stress-free life with her happy animals (2 dogs, a cat and a parrot).