Disembodied Dreams

The Gershwins’
“Someone To Watch
Over Me” came on the radio,
courtesy of Ella.

It took me back
to my grandparents’
basement, and a cassette
tape with the same song,
leaning across the ping-pong
table to cut pattern pieces
for the pale blue dress
I planned to wear
as I stepped off the plane
in Nashville to see you
again for the first time
since I was small.

My daydreams
were filled with plane tickets
and the moment you would
receive me once again,
like you received me long ago
as your firstborn in a hospital
room. The languid melody
drifts through the air, and
in my mind’s eye I see you
smiling at the gate, and me
just as I am, little lamb
in my pale blue dress.

But then the song ends.
My reverie takes a sly
Irish Goodbye, and I
find myself here again,
thirty years later.
The ping-pong table
is in the garage now,
my grandparents’ house
a memory. The cassette tape
went the way of cassette tapes.
The pale blue dress is neatly
packed in storage, not a
stitch out of place.
The body that held me
as a baby and held me
so many years later
in the airport
is in a donation lab.

And I am still here,
as though frozen in time,
with a mind that retains
all the pieces of the picture,
and marvels like a puzzled child
at how they just don’t fit together
the way they once did.

Claire Juno, © 2023