Mother Taught Me

She woke me early one morning.
I remember it odd because well
mother was never one for sleep
but the rest of us made the most
of a Saturday morning.

It must have been six am.
She yanked me from my bed.
Shoved me into her closet. Left
the door slightly ajar. I knelt
in dark silence and waited.

Poised, she sat front and centre
at her vanity. Her hair had been
falling out for quite some time now.
Moments later she slid out of her
dressing gown (the la perla underneath

twinkled in the early morning)
then she slipped into the crushed
velvet Saint Laurent which hung
from the bathroom door all night.
Eyes dead in the mirror -her back

to my father- her chin grazed
her shoulder. A gentle whisper
summoned him from his slumber.
Eyes barely working, he graced
towards her. Cradled her hips.

He didn’t say a word. Mother gathered
the locks of her wig. Pushed them aside
as he zipped up her dress. He nestled
his face into the crook of her neck.
She faltered as he slid the wig off her head.

Eyes closed, his hands then travelled
through each tiny island on her crushed
velvet frame. He knew her. Knew her
like he built her. The morning after
she sat me down. Asked what I had learnt.

You’re beautiful? No my dear, she replied.
There is not a thing more romantic
than the sound of a woman’s dress
being zipped up morning after morning
by the man she loves. The same man
she folds her bare skin into night after night.


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