Joan Jobe Smith


Sometimes I feel my mother is still alive, like
ten minutes ago when I wanted to show her my
new blouse, ask her how she likes it, tell her how
I had her in mind when I picked it out because she
always liked me wearing white, said I looked so nice
and clean. Remember how your mother liked to
keep you so nice and neat? And when I shook myself
back to 2022, realized she’d been dead 36 years
I could hardly believe it because I’d felt her so near
and real as silk upon my skin, felt the air around me
turn as warm as the sweet of her breath when she
smiled because I looked so clean in this white blouse.
Remember how your mother’s lips were naturally pink
as April azalea? For years after she died, every day at
4:00 in the afternoon, no matter where I was:
at work, on the freeway to L.A., a train to London or
crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge, I’d jolt my 4:00
horror when I’d forgotten to take her the morphine
she needed by 4:15 or she’d tremble with seizure and
pain as she lay dying upon her mattress grave but today
at 4:35 pm when she saw me white and nice in this blouse
she didn’t hurt anyplace anymore when she reached
quick butterfly from far away and touched my cheek.

Award-winning Joan Jobe Smith, a Pushcart honoree has had her art, poetry, reviews, fiction, essays, poet interviews, and recipes published internationally in more than 1000 places, plus 27 books/chapbooks, most recently, her prose memoir, Tales of an Ancient Go-Go Girl, and her new & selected poetry collection from NYQ: Moonglow Á Go-Go.


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