“A new manner of fashion I’d found,
And the world seemed to smile all around”~from Alice Blue Gown by Joseph McCarthy.
An overflowing nose at nap time prompts
a tall pile of pillows. We lean.
I need to cry for Mama, but his throat
is just too sore. And so I sing.
Tuning in to simmering feelings.
Tell me if I get it wrong, I say.
He’s quick to instruct, she is MY
mama, so I shift the point of view.
I sing a minor key of feeling sick
and sad and needing Mama who’s so far
away. Hitting the sadness button
his face screws up, grief erupts.
I justify making him cry now
unstuck, releasing, being heard.
Giving silence and a hug. His sobs
fierce and quick until a winsome smile,
brave and quivering, he nestles closer, says,
Now sing my song again. Sleepily
as I present leftovers: the tight jaw
and throbbing temples until we breathe
in dreams, and all the germs come into
the light, the room, the planet in song.
Inspired by: Justify, Leftovers, Manner, Winsome and a three-year-old grandson with a head cold. (And Alice Blue Gown charted #1 in 1920. My mother sang a different version à la Judy Garland “and in manner of fashion, I’d frown, and the world seemed to smile all around.” I like the original much better!)