At the Storage Locker,
December 29, 2000

By Goldie Gendler Silverman

My mother powdered her face
With powder by Coty.
It came in a round box,
Printed with black-handled white puffs
On an orange background.

My mother powdered her face.
I don't know why.
She wasn't vain.
Perhaps someone had told her long ago
She had a face that shone,
And that was bad.
Better to cover up her youthful glow
With pale dull dust.

My mother powdered her face
With the same pale shade
Years later, when the glow was gone
Replaced by cancer's ashen dull,
Her wan, worn face the ghost she soon would be.

At the storage locker,
Her grandchildren regard her dressing table
Waiting for five long years
To hear a voice say, "Yes, I'll take it."
Instead, "I don't have space," or
"If I had a house."
We open the drawer.
Spilled powder lines the corners.
I breathe in.
The fragrance is my mother.


Loss  | Vashon | Services | Art | Poetry | Store | Contact

© 1999 KotaPress All rights reserved.  ISSN 1534-1410
Please direct comments regarding this web site to