You’ve got her hooked nose, you know, and those nostrils which flare outwards when you’ve got your hands in the sink and you’re up to your elbows in suds and I can see your head nodding, your eyebrow’s rising and falling whilst sucking in your cheeks, admonishing an imaginary adversary; I know the conversation’s over when I hear that final sigh, the last plate is upturned on the draining board and the white tea towel claps the air as it is being shaken ready for its work.
You’ve got her hands as well, you know, with transparent, papery skin stretching over ivory knuckles and those fingers that can skip like loose elastic across the octaves on the piano and cause the dust in the dining room to dance in the beams of sunlight coming through the patio doors and turn the pages of the music book without missing a beat.
You’ve got her stomach too, you know, its tautness and youth long forgotten, meeting hips moulded into a seat for children to cling to like monkeys whilst telephone calls and shopping lists are made and the daily chores of tidying and cooking go on uninterrupted.
You’ve got her wit, I know because I’ve heard you make others laugh and you’ve got her laugh too.
And her bust. I can’t go without mentioning that you’ve got her bust too although as the years pass, less will be seen and whilst the outline of it will be visible through the layers of jumpers and obscured by poorly fastened, mismatched buttons (especially in your later years), the memory of it will carry you through so that you don’t notice it’s gone.
So don’t worry, you’re just like your mother and although she’s here with me now she’ll watch you and laugh with me.