By Louis Zoeller Bickett

It is a hot,
late summer, Saturday morning.
Mother is sitting at the kitchen table
overlooking the back yard.
She is wrapped in her pink satin robe
as if a chill had enveloped her in winter.
She is having her morning coffee.
The morning will soon give way to noon
(mother was not an early riser).
She is reading the paper.
She is smoking a Pall Mall.
Oddly, for the hour,
she has on full makeup.
Red lipstick marks her cigarette.
She tilts back her head
blowing perfectly formed smoke rings
that rise above her dark hair
and drifts over to where I’m sitting
across from her.
The smoke dissipates into elongated ovals
In front of me.
I am watching her.

She takes careful baby sips
of the hot steamy coffee
from a thin china cup
that had been her grandmother’s
wedding china.
Under her breath,
barely discernable,
she laughs at something she has just read.

July 11, 2013

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