A poem by Patti Thomas
I sifted through my mother’s things: Her knick-knacks, letters, her sapphire ring,
The scarves she wore with fashion flair, the comb she used to style her hair,
A picture of my lovely niece, a music box that played “Für Elise,”
Shoes she bought but never wore, and clothes! My goodness! Clothes, galore!
Photo albums by the crate! (She lived till she was 98!)
Her purse with tissues everywhere, and jelly beans she’d never share.
A Christmas tree, just one foot tall, some doilies and a Swedish doll,
Her Bible and some Christmas cards, where old friends sent their best regards.
But what struck me the very most, what conjured up this maternal ghost,
Her perfume bottle, that’s the thing, I dust it off, remembering.
The bottle’s shape is one I know, around it is a gilded bow.
Take off the cap and spritz the air, and just like that, my mom is there!
As I inhale the nostalgic scent, I close my eyes and breathe her in,
No longer old and weak and frail, she’s young again, robust and hale,
She smiles at me and winks her eye, “Remember, I never say ‘good-bye’,”
I reach out to touch her face, but there is just an empty space,
She is not there, among her things, but I hear her when the chickadee sings,
Sometimes I’m surprised to see her, looking at me from my mirror,
I’ll feel her presence in the room, whenever I smell her sweet perfume,
I see her in my granddaughter’s eyes, for I know a mother’s love never dies.
Patti Thomas and her husband Kevin, originally from Wisconsin, have been Wellington residents for 23 years. A former piano teacher, Patti loves reading and writing words. Her favorite thing to do is share books at her Little Free Library in her front yard in Meadow Wood of the Landings. She is a member of the Royal Palm Beach Writing Group.