Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Our Mothers’ Lamps Burned Up in the Butte Fire
By Donna Becker

I like to think of the lamp
that stood so many years
at my mother’s bedside,
the red flower painted
Sears reproduction
of a kerosene lamp
from an earlier age.
I think it reminded my mother
of her aunt’s nights
in the cold farmhouse.
The lamp found no place in my home
but happily, it did in yours.
That lamp in your cabin,
in your new quieter life.
“Just right,”
you said.

Your two lamps were
of fine pale green porcelain
painted and gilded
with more delicate flowers,
silken shades.
One sent to the restorer
at great cost
after the cousin’s dog
knocked it into pieces
on the floor.

These lamps of our mothers’ evenings,
which they loved for the
glowing prettiness.
Their hands each night
turned the knobs
to darkness
in a way
we love to remember.

Oct 2105

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