Felicia Mitchell

Felicia Mitchell's most recent poetry collection is Waltzing with Horses (Press 53). Since 1987, she has taught English and creative writing at Emory & Henry College in Virginia. In addition to writing poetry, she writes creative nonfiction, including columns for Cure Today, an online resource for those interested in cancer. Her website: www.feliciamitchell.net

Frosted Apricot

Felicia Mitchell

Mama was right.

The color is good on me—

though now, 16 years later,

it feels a little stale.

Why did I wait so long

to try the lipstick?

Why did I just look,

and shrug, and dismiss

another suggestion

to try to fix myself up.

She told me then

I had so much more,

so much more to work with,

than she did.

She never believed.

She never believed

she was beautiful.

She thought I was,

or could be,

with just the right shade

of lipstick.

Today, cleaning my drawers,

I want to wear the lipstick.

It looks good with my white hair.

I wish Mama could see me.

Or maybe she does.

Maybe even now,

even after death,

she knows she was right.