My mother’s arms

arc gently,

paintbrush in hand.

She is decorating

my bedroom walls

with flowers;

pink petals, purple shadows

and sunshine yellow centres.

I watch, sat cross legged

in the middle.


Cross legged on a beige carpet,

surrounded by the magnolia walls

my mother is gracing

with her colours,

her charm, her beauty

and the way she furrows

her brow and purses her lips

when she concentrates slightly.


I am in awe of her

elegance and strength;

the tightened skin

across her shoulder,

poised to make the world her canvas.


Even after all of these years,

the heartbreak and the pain,

she still paints flowers

on my bedroom walls;

when she helped me hang curtains;

string fairy lights;

sew cushion covers;

and taught me how to keep

the fifty pence antique mirror

we bought at the school fete,

when I was the girl

sitting cross legged in the centre

of her mother’s magic.


A mother’s magic

to which time and its aches

prove no match because

she is a goddess of flesh and blood

with ambrosial love

thriving between all of the spaces

in her bones.


Photograph: Kristana Reed

© Kristiana Reed 2019

4 thoughts on “Ambrosia

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