an old poem: Lola Bloom
Lola you are too pure for your mother,
your radiance illuminates the dirt around my mouth.
i talk and the spittle is old.
the clean in your breath is astounding.
how can anyone smell so delicious,
not baked or risen in the oven, not perfumed
with essential oils?
my breath is sour and coffee.
in the morning you say,
'momma your breath is stinky'
when i kiss you.
this is how mothers can grow to envy their daughters,
i see it now, how it happens.
their breasts spring forth in acres of skin,
their minds flexible and unafraid.
their mistakes loom in the future, unsaid,
they stand near us, in our arms,
pressed against our aging breasts
and act as if they will never grow old.
Lola i will never fight for what you have,
never cling to your childhood to clean my skin.
Lola i will never covet your boyfriends,
your car rides, your first kiss, your bikini.
you can have the flowers, the fields,
every good and brilliant man who deserves you,
the long looks of admiration, every good
time and every good feeling, in abundance,
in bushels, in gifts of foxglove petals,
the ones we both adore.
in return for knowing you, for being privy
to your luminous beauty and ringing song,
your purity of spirit, your trust,
your raging temper and saucy disobedience,
your penchant for wiping buggers on the wall.
the way your mouth opens like a pink bloom
when you are waking.
Lola i am not a martyr
but for you there is nothing i am afraid to hand over.
( ' Momma? If you had to choose between
chopping off your hand and losing me, what would- '
' -Lola, I'd choose you.)
in a small trick magicked up by love,
your every happiness thrills me,
as the ocean is still and deep and content
beneath the laughing tops of wave, catching the sun.
maggie may ethridge