i still see mother wearing pink piqué
on easter sunday morning
all excited about her lilies
and her risen christ.
she said, “he is risen!”,
but then she hung her head low
and looked at the floor.
though i was only five,
i wondered if she really believed it,
because the way she said it that made me think
of something slipping
or barely holding on.
wearing her plastic smile
while she sat in the living room
opening chocolates she gave to me
and they melted all over my off-white dress.
she wiped my dress and cried over the stain
that would be there forever.
“i’m sorry, mama.” i said.
“can jesus fix my dress?” i asked.
“no” she said, “but he is risen today.”
and still i wonder if it’s easier to come back alive
or fix a stain on a little girl’s dress.
i didn’t ask mother, though,
while she sat like still life,
the sun on her face,
her cheeks velvet soft and pink
as the dress she wore on that easter sunday.
i wanted to keep this
in my mind like an image
an artist paints
motionless after a hundred years
of dusty blue moonbeams
through aging sun baked windows.