Comment on this article

Things I Would Have Given To My Mother Had She Asked:
by Sharmagne Leland-St.John

A piece of my liberal mind.
5 more minutes of my time,
the night she called at 3 am
from Halls Lake, WA to L.A.,
drunk, slobbering down the phone,
a repetitious sobbing,
tongue thick with Canadian whiskey
and a cacophony of "I love you!"

I told her to call back
when she was sober,
so I'd know she meant it,
then put the receiver down
and returned to my lover's arms

I would have given her
the framed watercolour of the pink roses
in the blue and white pitcher
resting on a white Victorian lace doily,
The one I painted for her Christmas gift,
after I got to know her,
and decided I actually liked her.

The painting I knew
she had no worldly need for
on Thanksgiving eve
the night the phone call came
from an incoherent brother
on his birthday.

Did his stunned words not make sense,
or did I just not want to believe
I was hearing him correctly?
Could not fathom that she could be gone.
just when I had come to cherish her.

I would give her:
My father's love
if it were mine to give.
My brother's honesty
if there were such a thing
My sister's nonjudgmental side
If she had one.

Grandfather's pinky ring
in my safe keeping.

The black velvet scarf
with the French silk ribbon-embroidery.
Tiny roses with cultured pearls
on their stems.
I sewed stitch for stitch
with deft and slender hand.

My treasured first edition copy
of Green Mansions.
A favourite from her own youth
during the war years
when she herself
was a young girl growing.
A senior at Hollywood High
winning Chamber of Commerce awards
for her own fanciful writing.

The gaudy flowered dress
she admired
bought at The Pleasure Dome
on the Sunset Strip
when I was a Hippie,
a motherless child,
reinventing my ownself
to erase her DNA
from my cells, my bones, my ovum,
and from the strands of
bleached blonde hair
with baby's breath intertwined

I would give her 24 hours of my own life
just to tell her the things
that have gone unsaid.

For Rosebud


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]