working in a clock shop,
living upstairs with my nine-lived cat.
As a baby, I was dusted with shine from the moon,
refracted through my window at a different angle for every dream.
Mama said, dreams are nonsense
and life is mostly duty and a difficult business.
I want slender wrists and a silver watch;
hips as round as the bend in a river stream,
and my hat piled high with blooms and feathers.
Mama's half dead now, not remembering what she said five minutes ago.
I say, "Mama, look at the moon, changeless, ever the cool Mistress
of outward sky and inward seas."
At last, mama doesn't contradict me. She has forgotten how.
I want to be a younger woman in a former time,
wearing deep blue dresses flared at the shoulder and cinched at the waist,
with white lace at every edge.
"Pussycat," I will ask, in the night quiet above the clock shop,
"What do you suppose we were, when we were older?"
Her attention will stay on the skylight, and the moon beyond,
as if there were no answer there;
or as if there were, and what foolish girl could fail to see it?
for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads: "Youth & Age"