Dear Mama PART 2

Madeleine-JohnsonMadeleine Johnson is an actress, filmmaker and writer from Portland, Oregon. She attributes her appreciation for many of the best things in lifeblack coffee, dinner parties, roadtrips, rock music, laughing til you cry, trashy tv, pop art—to her late, great mother. Madeleine’s blog, Dear Mama, is a collection of letters written to her mother since her passing early last year. Madeleine is currently living in Los Angeles.

This selection of poems is the second in a three-part series featuring Madeleine’s work.

Read PART 1 here.


April 24, 2015


Dear Mama,

I am nervous to raise my kids

In this world of iPads and disconnect

The kids I nanny prefer Grand Theft Auto to their treehouse and trampoline

Do you remember how my hair was never brushed?

How the soles of my feet were hardened on the pavement,

Only occasionally slipping into shoes?

How the weeds and wildflowers in our yard became a crown,

The mud became coffee,

The wheelbarrow a taxi cab?

We dug a hole to China,

And then Disneyland, for practicality

And you never told us that the rocks from our archaeology mission

Weren’t diamonds.

I don’t want to raise my little Me’s in this keyboard wasteland.

April 24, 2015


Dear Mama,

The sign above the 101 screams

“Severe Drought”

And my cracked lips search for

The home in my memory

Time to put down roots elsewhere

Anywhere more alive

July 21, 2015


Dear Mama,

It’s late July and we talk about

National parks and wine bottles

Butter knives and bee stings

The slightest hint of morning in the middle of the night

It’s late July and we talk about


It’s late July and the kids talk about

Summer as emotion

Too permanent for its state

Not knowing its fickle nature

It’s late July and we talk about

Bliss things and bad luck things

As if an audience can hear

P.S. wish you were here

Send us your work!
We’d love to hear from you

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s