Mothers and Daughters: Red Square (a map of our mother’s closet circa 1972)


We will know her by her symbolic attributes;
In her image neither lily nor byzantine purple signify.
We will note that in the hard-drawn felt-tip icon of the Mother God
She is ever shown wearing Red high heels.

Some colored squares in our territory’s mapped legend fade,
Re-worn and illegible as old confetti on a wet asphalt street
tracked back by our insistent, diminishing feet.
Others cling, vibrant in the hanging dark:
stripes of light cotton voile:
one turquoise,
one lime

In more contemporary images we will note:
The hard-drawn, felt-tip Icon of the Mother God
Wears Red high heels. Her dress, now codified,
is the color of the first oak leaf in spring; however

it lacks the turquoise
of Texas’ summer skies.
This color cooled has flown
from our mother’s dress,
to hold light purchase only
in our daughters’ eyes.

by Bonnie McClellan