Jan Marin Tramontano

My Mother’s Silk Scarf

I have a scarlet silk scarf that
smells like my mother.
Not sweet like Evening in Paris
nor the cloying flowers of
Chloe, and certainly not
the confident here-I-am Chanel.

She was not the Chanel type.
More fresh scrubbed girl
next door, bathed in talcum powder.
The way I always imagined
Katharine Hepburn might smell.

Now, my mother doesn’t
remember this scarf, worn only on
Saturday date night with my father.
Nor will she remember what
perfume she wore. Sometimes
she doesn’t even remember me.

I cover my face with its silky softness
see her squeeze her atomizer
a puff drifts in its folds
she smiles as my father
takes her hand
twirls her, light and free
to Moonglow.


Jan Marin TramontanoJan Marin Tramontano is a novelist and poet who has been widely published in literary journals. Her books include two novels, What Love Becomes (in press— Adelaide Books, January 2019), Standing on the Corner of Lost and Found and three poetry chapbooks, Floating Islands, A Woman Sitting in a Café and Other Poems of Paris and Paternal Nocturne. A longtime New Yorker, she now lives in Florida with her husband. Her website is www.jantramontano.com.

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