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Mother in Satin
Donna Hilbert

On Saturday nights, my mother
took off her blue jeans,
put on a red satin dress
with a wide circle skirt
that swished when she danced.
Or, a black brocade sheath dress
with a peplum of white lace
and rhinestone earrings
that jangled like ice cubes.
Or, to backyard parties, a pink
waffle pique with a sewn-in
brassiere and laces up the back.
In springalator high heels,
open at the toe, she twirled
across the patio onto the grass,
unwinding like a bolt of organza,
her Tabu perfume simmering
in the torchlight, she danced
past the clothesline, past the built-in
barbecue, past the ornamental
fish pond, turning
into herself for the night.
© by Donna Hilbert.
Used with the author’s permission.


Donna Hilbert writes and teaches private workshops from her home in Long Beach, California. Her work is widely published in multiple languages and she is featured in the documentary, “Grief Becomes Me: A Love Story.” Her newest collection, The Congress of Luminous Bodies, is just out from Aortic Books. Learn more about Donna at


Post New Comment:
"...turning into herself for the night." Love it! Russ
Posted 05/09/2013 02:45 PM
barbara eknoian:
Love the references to satin, lace, brocade, and organza making the reader visualize it all. A precious memory.
Posted 05/09/2013 11:38 AM
My mother was a dancer too, and your poem brings it all back, even the TABu perfume which she used. Thanks so much.
Posted 05/09/2013 10:40 AM
p.s. that line "turning into herself for the night" says it all
Posted 05/09/2013 09:06 AM
Donna, love this poem! my mother was a dancer too, and aren't these wonderful memories to cherish? thanks! Sharon Auberle
Posted 05/09/2013 09:05 AM
Beautiful poem! Vivid images I could see as I read.
Posted 05/09/2013 08:49 AM
A reminder of BEING that mother, putting on lipstick while my son watched in adoration. Ahh, those days! Wonderful reminder.
Posted 05/09/2013 07:06 AM
What a joyous poem!
Posted 05/09/2013 07:01 AM
Love it. She comes alive.
Posted 05/09/2013 06:13 AM
My autonomic nervous system is involuntarily reaching for a 'like' button. I do like this! I had even expected to when I saw Donna's name. Thank you Donna Hilbert.
Posted 05/09/2013 05:59 AM
Haven't thought of Tabu in years! Love how it ends: "turning/into herself for the night". You caught the era.
Posted 05/09/2013 04:55 AM

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