Mommie Dearest

(After Joan Crawford, the nickname my mother gave herself)

Here you are

ringed with pearls

in your lace-lined casket.

Lovely lavender outfit

sister Tena gave you,

hair done just so.

The gold band and diamond wedding ring

you always wore,

symbolic of the covenant

that gave you

husband  family   financial security,

but not much joy.

Handcrafted wooden cross in your right hand,

on your left the copper bracelet

w/the religious icons from nephew Kyle.

He was with you at the end.

I wasn’t.

He held your hand and soothed you,

told you how we loved you.

What do I say to your dead body?

This body that gave me life.

Your first most-difficult born.

I squeeze your hand,

thank you for giving me life

and for marrying the “wrong” man

so I could be born uniquely me -

a noble sacrifice,

though I doubt you ever knew that.

Here I am, Mom,

brushing against you

with my softest lips

kissing your sweet face,

sweeter than it was to me in life,





Chocolate Waters is a continuously evolving radical feminist poet and celebrant of the new power of the feminine. She currently conducts workshops for women and seniors on finding the unique truth and beauty in our poetry. Her latest book, Muddying the Holy Waters, (Eggplant Press) is now available on Amazon and her website is being re-vamped and will reappear soon.