Portrait in Sepia

Sharon Munson
Your lips hold a tinge of a smile / as portrait sitting was serious business.

Counting the years with disbelief
I find I am older than you
when the photo was taken.
I stare at your face —
lightly powdered, a touch of rouge,
your hair freshly washed and set by Marlene
in the beauty shop on Woodward.

Your lips hold a tinge of a smile
as portrait sitting was serious business.
Your eyeglasses, wing tipped tortoise shell.
Pearl earrings from Dad's store
peek out from behind your carefully combed curls.

I bought the blouse for your birthday
the spring I was twelve,
a gift purchased at Fay's Fashions on Dexter.

The blouse, blush-pink silk — short-sleeved for a day lilacs bloom.
Delicate eyelet circles the collar.
Ivory buttons in a matching shade
run down the bodice.

Mother, you chose to wear that blouse for this formal portrait, never knowing, so many years later I'd remember.

Sharon Lask Munson grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She taught for the Department of Defense in schools in England, Germany, Okinawa, and Puerto Rico. After overseas teaching, Sharon drove to Anchorage, Alaska where she put down new roots and lived for the next twenty years. She is now retired and lives with her husband, Keith, in Eugene, Oregon. She has poems in many literary journals and anthologies. Her chapbook, Stillness Settles Down the Lane was published in 2010 by Uttered Chaos Press. That Certain Blue, published by Blue Light Press in 2012, is her first full-length book of poems. Her site is www.sharonlaskmunson.com.