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A strand of beads

When I was just a teenage girl,
my mother gave to me
a strand of glass beads—pinks, blues,
yellow shapes, not much of anything
that I could see.

The beads, linked by metal loops,
tarnished brown, dull and small,
made me look in distaste,
and wonder why
this drab strand of beads mattered at all.

The beads were worn on her wedding day,
to match her blue silk dress,
her eyes wet as she told me,
her hands stroking the necklace
more a caress.

Why tell me this, I have friends to meet,
this is a bore.
"We were happy once," she said,
then placed the necklace in my hands,
and said no more.

Today I see a chain of jewels,
linked to days gone past,
each red, blue, yellow bead
like flowers in my mother's garden,
that bloomed to last.