Sensing Mother

Dad keeps Mum’s favourite dress
deep in the bottom of the ottoman.
Sometimes, when he is at work
I stand listening to the tick of the clock
then go upstairs.

And propping up
the squeaky wooden lid, I dig through
layers of rough, winter blankets
feeling for that touch of silk.
The blue whisper of it, cool
against my cheek.

Other times – the school-test times,
and dad-gets-home-too-late
to-say-goodnight times –
I wrap the arms of the dress around me,
breathing in a smell, faint as dried flowers.

I remember how she twirled around
– like a swirl of sky.
When I am old enough I will wear it.
Pulling up the white zip,
I’ll laugh and spin,
calling out to my daughter:
How do I look?

Copyright: from If You Could See Laughter (Salt, 2010), © Mandy Coe, 2010, used by permission of the author and Salt Publishing

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Mandy’s poems are filled with joy and delight and often explore and mirror the movements you might make as you run and play.  The ...

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