Last-Minute Mothering

by Madison Lazenby

Here is a knife to cut your sandwich,
but first, sweetie, here is the laundry detergent
& here is how to fold a fitted sheet & here
is how to apply perfume in the spots that matter,
yes, right there, & here is how to stand up again,
here are your grandmother’s fake pearls
& my fake sapphires & here are the photos
you should keep on the wall, in your drawer,
in the pocket of your jeans to create home,
here are your jeans, ripped here & there & tight
enough for effect but loose enough
to walk & love in, here is how to walk
in socks, in sneakers, in high heels, here are high ideals
in gardens, in love, here is an eye for love & here
is an eye for men, here is your father
& here is your brother, here are hands for hands
& faces & hair, here is need &
here is want, here are ears & a bellybutton
& a tongue, please only pierce one of them, here
is your plate, sweetie, here is your hair &
eyebrows, here is a new water bottle, drink
at least two every day, & here is a fresh planner,
packed away in the trunk up to here, I can’t
see anything in the rearview, up there
I know you will find an income, excuse me,
a salary, excuse me, a living
& there, sweetie, I’m sure, you will find a lover,
here is a glass of water
& here is a napkin for your mouth & lap.

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