Dear Jane
by Ivana Mestrovic

Each day for the last nine weeks
I lit a candle for your mother
with a match from Café Lalo on West 83rd

(I would often grab a box with the illustration
of a woman with a yellow dress and hat
lifting a morsel to her red lips)

where I went once a week after seeing my shrink
after my mother died trying to deal with loss
and other congenital conditions.

I don’t go there anymore
and the matches have stayed
in a drawer waiting for special occasions

a dinner party or a winter morning
when I would light a candle
as I imagined your mother would be doing

at her breakfast table with its red-checked cloth
a lesson learned from her
of how to celebrate the descending night.

The matches are almost all gone
and I would rather stuff my mouth
with dirt than say this

but I know for you there are still to go—
if I count my mother’s as the number
of days to grieve—days innumerable.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 4.

Ivana Mestrovic holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Yale University. She has worked in arts management for sculptor Mark di Suvero for over thirty years and runs his Spacetime Studio. Ivana also sits on the boards of Socrates Sculpture Park, The Athena Foundation, and the little OPERA theatre of ny. She has studied poetry with Marie Howe and Ellen Bass, and has attended workshops with Cornelius Eady, Rachel Hadas, and Glyn Maxwell. Her work has appeared in Brief Wilderness, Doubly Mad, and Oxidant Engine.

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