Sydney by Laurel Blossom
My mother was glamorous. She wore clothes she bought at The Tailored Woman. In my childhood she wore her hair in a perfect French twist.
But when she let it down at night, it went all wild and wiry, black and white and gray.
I forget a woman’s name if it’s Katherine, Kitty, or Kate.
I only know her from the inside out.
When not defined by her motherhood, there’s a barrier. Flesh.
But I like the dead. They’ve gone back inside, you know where to find them.
Though tonight they walk the earth.
Though this is the night of the day she died.
I cut my hair short.
She can’t drag me with her.
The doctor said I’m gong to live a long time. She said I should make friends with younger women.
My sister’s age, I asked.
Your daughter’s age, she said.
The measure of longitude (longevity) hasn’t been invented yet.
If she sees me coming, she’ll organize an ascension.
This is the 60-yard dash.
Like lead, slow motion, running in glue.
Meantime, on Halloween, I didn’t die.
Cooler days, the falling year, the sweet and rising air. The slowly breathing stones.
I can go to Australia if I want to.
I went running. I love running.
I bought a load of books, stopped for a cappuccino at the bookstore café.
Bought a pot of orange chrysanthemums. At the mall. In Florida. Eleven o’clock in the morning.
Eastern Standard Time.
The ocean breeze tousled the palm trees.
A gaggle of yellow-breasted children waddled by.
The sun moved West, taking me out of the purple shade into the yellow noonday sun.
This is my life beyond her life.
To my own dark evening, my natural conclusion.
Whenever and however foregone it may be.
When I look down, I see my mother’s hands.