as I lay musing with my cheek upon the chopping block,
I may as well wish for anything.
What's to stop my REM-eyes from following
what they will while they can?
Who's to tell the old bird
that she cannot sing while circling
earthbound on one good and one broken wing?
I have three wishes, and the first wish
is for the Amish, the Amazon,
the changeling who bears the mark of my tribe.
Like me, she wrapped herself in plain disguise
before trying talons and flight feathers rare and serious.
What wish might I find fulfilled
while looking into
eagle to eagle
eye to eye?
My second wish is a southerly desire,
a migration my lighter self yearns to undertake.
Could I just let go and fall, find myself in gulf-warm waters,
where what is spoken is often sweet but never simple
like the bible hidden under the bed,
filling with better psalms by proxy,
strung out and sung on the heard sighs of women instead of
ladies, promenading and proper,
privately contemplating sultry summer on the church steps
while holding folded gloves empty and colorless as a northern winter?
My third wish is as southern as the second,
though a hickory wind has swept out the ashes of the morning
to be built back into fire all the way to the match tip strike.
Silver is a fine color for the sky in such dreams,
and whenever I spare a girlish glance at the expected blade,
and shift my unkissed cheek as the executioner sets aside my hair,
I think that surely now is the time
for dreams that can never be,
desires that laze just out of reach,
because, after all,
if my wishes are worth the quicksilver they are drawn upon,
a girl could find herself together again
with the wished-for squeeze, and why not?
If I'm to be mistress of my own madness,
let it be all that I imagined.
Let it be soon. Let it be sweet.
for Real Toads mini-challenge featuring artist Lisa Graham. The image at top, "Wishing Sisters" is hers, used with permission.
Process notes, only for the truly curious. If my poem pleased you with no explanations, then skip this!
After a month of living my life unencumbered by having to go to work, tomorrow the salt mine beckons. Hence, the images of pending execution. But while a girl sits daintily on a hard bench in Hell's waiting room, she can dream, can't she? And so my three idle wishes involve my three celebrity crushes, in ascending order.
Second, Sela Ward, who is from Alabama. She's got that whole southern charm thing going on, and is just ridiculously sexy, seemingly without half trying, which I think is an art. I went into deep mourning when I ran out of Once & Again dvd's to watch, and have been reduced to watching her on CSI:NY instead. Nonetheless, her Once & Again character Lily Manning is my favorite, though I never know if I want more to be with her or just be her. Yes, I know, she's fictional, but we're talking wishes here.
Third, and most ardently daydreamed over, is singer Emmylou Harris who was born in Alabama and grew up in North Carolina and Virginia. I referenced some of her songs, "Hickory Wind" (also associated with Gram Parsons), "We'll Sweep Out The Ashes" and "Together Again." Silver is a fine color for the sky and also for Emmylou's gorgeous hair. She said she started going gray in her 20s.
My life of freedom and happiness may soon be over, but perhaps one of my honeys will swoop in at the last minute and support me in the style that I wish to become accustomed to. What, I'm the only one here with rescue fantasies??? Send me my Dyke In Shining Armor, even though two of them are straight. Damn. But hey, my wishes, my rules! :-)