“Lip Gloss Instead” dVerse Open Link #103

Because my mother loved lipstick,
I liven up when applying the sheerest rose colour.

But unpredictably, deep scarlet makes me sad.

Her smooth voice is always near;
with clarity I watch the clock’s hands move quickly.

I go to the cosmetic counter to look for the new
summer colours and a salesgirl asks if she can help.

I kiss a subtle mauve on my lips; I buy a clear lip
gloss instead.

My mother never wore lip gloss. She only wore vibrant shades.

I buy a new lipstick every month; line them up on my vanity,
an unsatisfied obsession.

While living in New York she had a Siamese cat named Kimmy,
who sat on the sofa with her most evenings.

My mother died in September 2004, leaving me
a box of brooches encrusted with faux jewels, but no lipstick.

Nearly nine years later, I can still see her rouged lips.

From my purse I take out a compact mirror and apply a garnet
tone; I put on my strappy shoes, grab my sweater.

While walking out the door I remember my mother
telling me lipstick makes a girl feel pretty.


22 responses to ““Lip Gloss Instead” dVerse Open Link #103

  1. I love this piece…I remember my Mother….thank you Pamela.

  2. Really like the effect you get from the non-linear narrative. Super.

  3. there are days when i need red lipstick…mostly lipgloss though as well.. and my mom never used lipstick

  4. smiles…loved your glimpse into your life a bit…the things we pick up from parents…the feeling pretty in applying just a bit of color…that feeling of pretty is an important thing…i would hope we can all feel at times…i like the zoom out a bit on the cat as well…

  5. Poignant memories. Nicely done.

  6. My mom always used this one Revlon shade, “Blaze Apricot.” She still does, at 92, but not often since she’s mostly homebound and only gets out once a week or so. This last year she turned over her second home in the desert to us and I cleaned out some old stuff. She must have had 8 tubes of the stuff. I kept one for when I’m in a bright summer mood. This was a touching glimpse into a mother-daughter relationship and my guess is that it will evoke lots of memories for your readers.

  7. Very nice sentiment.>KB

  8. I can relate to this, I think many of us can in one way or another. Great capture Pamela 🙂

  9. thank you for sharing this part of your life, my mom died 30 years ago and those details, the little ones like ‘lipstick’ are still clear as day

    ‘I buy a new lipstick every month; line them up on my vanity,
    an unsatisfied obsession’

    among so many, i was particularly struck by this line.

  10. Lipstick – such an evocative trigger! And yes, it brings back mother like almost nothing else – especially for little boys with long & rich memories … As you know, very timely for me too Pamela… Bittersweet, but thank you…
    With Love Scott http://www.scotthastie.com

  11. Pamela, my mother sold Avon products for a time and had lots of lipstick samples around. So many colors, so much fun. I do remember my mother saying “Lipstick makes a girl feel pretty” too. Now I don’t use any at all…my mother would not approve.

  12. telling me lipstick makes a girl feel pretty.

    Rightly so! Lipsticks are the attraction once the lady comes close! It’s a brightness that transforms. Lovely take Pamelita!


  13. Lipstick, I like my lipstick and it does make me feel pretty..I like pink/mauve’s but, when I’m feeling adventurous out comes the red. I enjoyed this Pamela. thanks…

  14. My mom loves lipstick so I buy her one when I could ~ As for me, I hardly wear it everyday ~ Thanks for sharing your memories ~

  15. This is a truly poignant poem, Pamela. It is often quite surprising the things that trigger memories in us – I’m glad the memories here are good ones though.

  16. My mother never wore lipstick either. Her lips survived on Chapstick. Love the poem.

  17. This struck a chord with me. When my mother passed 2 years ago, I took her lipsticks home. Not sure why, but they seemed so intensely personal and I couldn’t throw them out. She only wore lipstick, too….always said she couldn’t understand why young women wanted their lips to feel like they were slicked with Vaseline. 🙂

  18. A lipstick, a smell of perfume.. amazing what can trigger memory, and what can make us recall a person passed away all of the sudden.

  19. Such a tangible intimate item. I love that you chose lipstick to explore your relationship and your feelings. Well done.

  20. Amazing what a simple object can do to take us back. You made me think of my own mother who could wear red lipstick like it was made for her, even though she was fair skinned. Maybe it was her brown hair and eyes. Like your mother it all came together. Nicely done, Pamela.

  21. A moving tribute, Pamela ~ M

  22. Well done and heart felt.
    Red lipstick always reminds me of my mom too and she would collect them as well. Maybe it was a thing among women of a certain time.

I appreciate all comments.

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