Madeleine Johnson is an actress, filmmaker and writer from Portland, Oregon. She attributes her appreciation for many of the best things in life—black 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 third and final in a three-part series featuring Madeleine’s work.
You can explore a musical tribute and collaboration with Portland-based singer-songwriter and childhood friend, Moorea Masa, in her video “Oh Mother,” dedicated to Madeleine’s mother, featuring Madeleine herself.
September 28, 2014
I don’t have pretty hands.
Some women get manicures and French tips and rhinestones
But I learned from the best that
A little dirt never hurt anybody.
Under your fingernails the
On your knuckles the
Moving the furniture
A burn from the oven.
These are the things that make a hand worth shaking
They can keep their pink polish and shea butter.
December 27, 2014
This is when it really sinks in, I think
The ridiculous lack of you
I cooked Christmas Eve Dinner,
Knowing it’ll always be your night,
And no amount of kitchen dancing or
Red wine or
Lipstick and fur jackets or
Christmas funk radio or
Trying to make Dad laugh or
Replaces your first course of
And your beaming smile in a black velvet dress
January 16, 2015
Reasons I got out of bed today include
Free coffee at work
Another chance to make you proud
Send us your work!
We’d love to hear from you