If she were my mother by Alyson Dayus
I’d take her jet-black eyeliner
and scrawl ‘she loves you, dahlings’
on the wall. I’d rewrite her life
in lipstick, unpoisoning grandmother’s
blood, dressing baby in boyish blue.
She’d turn cartwheels
in a buckskin dress, and like
a gallery girl, I would clap my hands
and covet her eyelashes. I’d understand
my name when she pronounced it
in that renowned, sardonic drawl.
Not a proper Southern lady,
she’d never want an English Rose.