‘Beyond your cherry trees, Mamma’ by Sandra Sjollema

You told me not to pluck, Mamma
The dark maroon cherries
But I let the dark pink
Petals rain down on me
Over the years

In silk grass
I sat silent
Like the good girl
You wanted me to be
Circled and darted me eyes
To catch each shrug of wind

You cleaned the houses of the rich, Mamma
Had to make a living in the town
With half the rainfall and the manors
On the cliffs
Private tennis courts
Gated driveways

I used to tag along

You said you had to work
You said
This was not
The mother/daughter reunion
Dust in the corners spilling
Over the lines
Between some kind of control
And dirt

I romped in the dirt in our backyard
Bungalow by the beach

Sat on roughness
Three cracking steps

Sat waiting
For your blue Toyota
To pass me in a dash
In the blur
Approaching dark


SANDRA SJOLLEMA is originally from Tsawwassen, B.C. and has lived in Montreal for many years. Her poetry has been widely published on-line and in hard copy anthologies. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks, including Where the wild lives (Sitting Duck Press, 2008) and Un/daunted in the Black and Gold (Sitting Duck Press, 2014). Her poetry discusses personal and political issues, and sometimes both at the same timeShe is a part-time university professor, researcher, and community organizer.   

Copyright © 2019 by Sandra Sjollema. All rights reserved.