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.

Dance of the Air © Louisa L.

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