Watching Mamma Apply Lipstick

I goggle at the looking glass,
kid elbows out like I’m in class
observing mamma click and twist
her lipstick case with soft cream wrist,
and neatly write her royal red o’s,
a biting heart of lipstick prose.

I puff in perfumed powder pots
of pink pressed chalk and pansy drops
as mamma’s strands of sprinkles chink
around her neck. Two dolls, we prink
with sippica pippica. Pucker and kiss
a wet jelly bean for big, red lips!

Sippica Pippica

The scent of violet is reminiscent of cosmetics – soft, powdery, and sweet. All it takes is a squirt of pansy, and I’m a child again, watching mamma apply make-up at her vanity. My mother painted her lips with fantastic colours like fire-engine red and hot pink. And, although I couldn’t quite pronounce lipstick – sippica pippica (!), I’d scrawl sticky rings around my mouth with a wet jelly bean in imitation.

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