All I Have to Do Is Dream
Sometimes I imagine I am still sitting
in my lemon yellow room on Alberta Avenue
dressing paper dolls in their fancy clothing--
two-dimensional Betsy McCall visits Pollyanna
under the bright lights of an imaginary Victorian circus tent
or I am slowly sifting through a shiny tin of glass buttons
letting them drop jewel-like through my fingers
as my grandmother pushes her foot down hard
on the sewing machine pedal
speeding through her stitches like a race car driver
laughing at me and my cousins,
the girls all prancing with abandon
dancing in our underwear and Nan’s fancy hats and pearly beads
to Sheb Wooley’s “Flying Purple People Eater”
and The Everley Bros. “All I Have to Do Is Dream”, side B.
Lifting the lid on that little black box
carefully, as if it were a treasure chest,
to flip the record, change the 45, push the needle back again.
Giggling while we switch positions, fall
into the beanbag cushions of each other’s laps
sure of our bodies, our nimble limbs
skin on skin, hands, feet, bellies, intertwined
unafraid of warm human touch, soft caresses,
proud of our budding breasts
and bloodless thighs.
We have not yet met the snake charmer
working at the corner store, the one with oil-stained hands,
and the sickening smell of Wild Turkey and Merit 100s on his breath.