'Meet my mother' by Louise Nicholas | States of Poetry SA - Series Two

After Karin Gottshall

Sometimes I say I’m going to meet my mother just because
I like saying it. I like it for its mouth feel and pleasure:
... meet my mother.

It was a phone call at 3 am drove those words away.
Three years later, with no conscious effort on my part,
they followed an overgrown but still navigable path

all the way to my mouth that they might line up
and spill from it just as they used to:
I’m going to meet my mother.

Some days, I go to the Broadway Cafe and sit at a table
for two, one with a view of the sea. She loved the sea.
Mothers come and go, some with daughters, some not.

Each time the door opens, I look up and imagine her
standing there in the Chanel suit she made herself;
a smile crinkling her eyes, her hair blown about a bit.

Then, the sea suitably gazed upon in her stead,
I check my phone and pretend to read a message
that could well be from her in which she says,

‘Sorry, the cake’s taking an age to cook,
can’t think why, what about tomorrow?’