Yeah,woe man,I’m her daughter

The good things my mother taught me

are  too numerous to list

here or even on a large hoarding

I could rent for a week by the train station.

She gave me my blue eyes and my love of stories

and tolerated the fact that, I like my father,would learn

for the sake of it and not with a view to earning money.

She praised my sense of color though not my three year  research scholarship

to  place of higher learniing

would rather I curled my hair and smiled at boys.

But my destiny was determined by the fact that I never could master that Singer sewing machine  she had

so I had to learn  Theoretical Physics to make up for it.

And here I am now,thinking of her home made bread

her showing me how to read music

and the names of the keys on the piano.

I know I was a big disappointment in not  marrying into  money

or becoming a saint or virgin and martyr,well martyr anyway

She always believed me to be a virgin, even after marriage;

and it’s true I was a virgin with regard to common sense

getting on in society and all related issues.

Some ordinary female knowledge never penetrated me

so I’d sit in the rain wondering what tolerance was

or how Pascal got to lie in bed so much,and whether I could too

because I got creative ideas in bed—

not what you may be thinking of—–

She always changed the sheets and washed our clothes however poor we were…

And made us dresses from scraps of fabric

That’s how we learned geometry,with the trapeze dress……

Numbers we learned from the stars and excitement from playing with boys

in a disused brickfield.

Strange what makes us who we are,but

the biggest contribution comes from mothers

and just to please her I hope as well as all my academic success

one day I’ll make myself a dress out of some rare print

embodying simultaneously both male and female design and shape

And she’ll look down and say,

She always had her head in  the clouds,in a book,in the smoke patterns from Dad’s cigarettes, in a dream and a whirl

but she did have a good sense of color.

Yeah,she is my daughter

Yeah,once I imagined I must be adopted but

Yeah.I’m her daughter.

She’s my mother.

Now she’s gone.