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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

Kelley Jean White, MD.,-- three poems

Kelly Jean White, M.D., is the mother of three, a Quaker, an inner city pediatrician for more than twenty years, collector of stray animals and seeker after Buddha and nature. She has published two full-length poetry collections, The Patient Presents and Late (The People's Press). She also has two chapbooks: I am going to walk toward the sanctuary (Via Dolorosa Press) and Against Medical Advice (Pudding House).




It might have been completely different

Believe what you like, this is a family story: My mother,
at nineteen a telephone operator in Poughkeepsie,
takes the train to New York City to see her boy friend
off to the war. A frumpy older woman, big mouth,
hat at an angle, gets into their compartment. She takes
off her gloves, fumbles for a pencil in her purse, seems
about to write something. They ignore her, proceed
to spend the trip necking, despite the old lady’s friendly
questions: where is the boy stationed? are they engaged?
have they set a date? where did they grow up? What
schools? They neck quite passionately. Don’t answer.
At the station a group of reporters rush their seatmate:
“Mrs. Roosevelt, Mrs. Roosevelt, how was your trip?”
The woman tugs a little at her left glove, nods just a
little at my mother’s lifted brow. Cal dies in the South
Pacific. My mother marries my father, another sailor,
five years later. She sometimes shows me an orange
and pink coral necklace she keeps folded in tissue paper
and sachet. I wonder, would I have had red hair?





































Karma in New Hampshire

church bell tells the same noon song
all that remains is wind

garden gone to vetch and milkweed
stone fence broken down
ground hog tunnels

and somewhere a caterpillar works
toward a cocoon

my mother calls
there are a few things she needs
to go over

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Where are you mother of ribbons and rags?
Where is your basket of shavings?
Where are your torn shoes, your cigarette butts?
Where is your hatbox of feathers?

Where are you mother of wire and lace?
Where is your broken off hair?
Where is the knuckle you kiss when you sleep?
Where is your hatbox of blossom?

Where are you mother of needles and knives?
Where is your garter of onions?
Where are your ashes, your pieces of bone?
Where is your hatbox of smoke?