(for Mama)

Her skin is smooth to the touch
Fragile in its tea- coloured translucence
like parchment, thin and delicate.
Beneath fingertips, barely noticeable,
the raised crosshatch of aquamarine veins.
Eyes are graying now, all of a sudden
after sixty three years of brownness.
Wet gray, like smooth, slick river stone
slippery, secretive, the colour of transience.
She has a way with orchids, people say
and her hands smell like green seasoning.
She reminds me of vanilla and garlic
for reasons I cannot explain.
When she comes into the room
she is beautiful in the most unexpected way
like a secret all caught up in a sigh.

I once heard someone say
that women expire,
… we fade away.

…..All this talk of fading
when we haven’t even
begun to bloom.

Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné lives in Sangre Grande, Trinidad. She is an English teacher, and has been drawing and writing for as long as she can remember. Previous publications include Bim: Arts for the 21st Century, The Caribbean Writer, and Tongues of the Ocean.

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