LIP GLOSS INSTEAD, by Pamela Sayers

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).


RWJ issue 4

more rwj


3 thoughts on “LIP GLOSS INSTEAD, by Pamela Sayers

  1. I like this… I can feel a tension just underneath. Mothers and daughters have such a tenuous give and take. (Of course I may be talking about my personal feelings only). My mom never wore clear gloss either. I’m glad you have made peace with looking and feeling pretty (you are you know-smiles)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s