Dancing to Fleetwood Mac on Vinyl
We broke in our Christmas go-go boots.
I was with two dark-haired sisters,
with matching ringlets,
from across the street.
We raised our arms
and wiggled our little-girl hips,
singing, “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.”
Our safe futures seemed ensured
in a living room well-appointed
with my grandmother’s paintings
of flowering trees and green rivers.
We were the generation
free to be me
and you you.
A blizzard kept us home from school.
Meg (the sister with the hazel eyes) has an odd strain of the flu.
After twenty-one days
she gained some strength.
We ate steak and baked potatoes to celebrate.
Two thousand tomorrows
would come and pass:
In remission, she joined me at the beach
to kick the sand,
but in the end,
cancer of the blood held her
down with a rope.
Her brother and sister delivered the news.
We sat, couldn’t move,
until my father stormed in and scolded,
“You didn’t clean the kitchen.”
I suppose, now, that’s what old navy captains do.
He looked straight past my grief,
unable to face what he knew of death,
the world’s most notorious thief.
After all these years,
I dream of yesterday’s tomorrows.
My subconscious searches relentlessly
but I cannot find my friend.
Love is left to stand alone
in the emptiness of my sleeping self.
About this work: Dancing with Fleetwood Mac on Vinyl is a poem in my collection Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Other Tales of Love and Loss. It recounts the true story of my friend, Meg Clemens, September 5, 1968 — May 12, 1984. I am thrilled that Louisa L., a French artist living in New York, is participating in this project. You can view other examples of her exceptional work at http://louisal.com. Instagram @louisl1