The Pot of Rouge

by Diana Hendry

Sometimes I still use it,
scrubbing the flattened puff
into the hardened stuff
then rubbing it on my cheeks
as she did on hers.

It was her bravado, her little dash
of chic in its navy and gold pot,
Rouge Rosette Brune on the lid.
Before my father came home
from work she’d nip upstairs

for a quick blush of pink. Despite
our protests she’d add a dab
before the doctor’s visit for fear
he’d see her pale and poorly.
I think it might last forever.

Whenever I use it I feel
like a child again, drawn
to her dressing table, trying on
her pearls, her lipstick, her rouge
like her finger’s touch on my face.