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Tea Leaves: a memoir of mothers and daughters by Janet Mason (Bella Books April 2012) is now available -- click here for more info

“There is something here for everyone who has ever loved someone else or plans to. I highly recommend “Tea Leaves” just because it is so real and so beautifully written.”–Reviews by Amos Lassen

check out Janet Mason's author blog

read Janet Mason's latest piece in The Huffington Post --Chick-fil-A: What Would Gandhi Do If He Were Gay?'s) featured writer:

Maria Fama -- Drawing Stars


My mother taught me to draw stars
one afternoon in the bright kitchen
window panes frosted over
December holiday time:

My mother is starting a marinara sauce
peeling the garlic chopping onion
I sit at the kitchen table
with pencil, paper, crayons, scissors, glitter, glue
not quite five
excited, intense, intent on drawing stars
I squeeze the pencil tight
it races around, trails, stops
droopy, crazy lines no stars

I plead with my mother to show me how
she carefully places the pencil between my fingers
puts her hand
sweetly fragrant with garlic and onion
over mine
as she guides me up and down
over and across up and down againamusejanetmason logo
teaching me to draw stars
together we draw
five point Christmas stars
six point Stars of David
we stop and admire them

I open my crayon pouch of pink paisley fabric
my mother has made for me
I love that it opens and closes
with a green ribbon drawstring
inside are all my crayons new and old
all the best colors
for all the beautiful stars I will make

I slowly draw stars on my own
five point Christmas stars, six point Stars of David
I color them, paste glitter on, cut them out
later we hang them

on the indoor orange tree from Sicily
where at the top an angel sits

A half century later
the boss loses her patience with me
she must let me go from the job
she cannot teach me to go as fast as she wants
on all the tasks I try to do
intense, intent on doing the job
I wanted to learn how to speed through the job

yet all my best lessons
learned so long ago
have been of slowness
of patience
striving for beauty
just as when my mother and I sat
at the kitchen table
drawing stars.

Click here to read Sappho, from Looking for Cover, poems by Maria Fama
Click here to read another poem by Maria Fama -- Photograph of My Mother and Me
Click here to hear -- AUDIO -- Maria read her poem, Sappho
Click here to read/hear Janet Mason's review of Fama's Looking for Cover

readings/appearances books poetry about audio/ site map submit Tea Leaves: mothers & daughters links/contact readings/appearances