Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pressed Flower

Pressed Flower                Frannie Zellman  

To the memory of my mother, Millicent Eunice Kant (1928-2014)

A paper cut out
Of gold in your hair,
With a white sash
And white silk scarf.
At six, you are a daisy.
You dance around the pole
And sing.
You forget the eye condition
They can’t cure.

When you are thirteen,
You skim the stage
In toe shoes, smiling magic
Into the hall.
You forget
That you're not dancer-thin.

When you are sixteen,
Your voice floats an aria
Onto the record.
Even Italian cannot capture
its fluid sweetness.
You sing and play by ear.

When you are twenty,
Fifteen men ask you out.
You smile and toss out
Words to amuse.
Instead you captivate -
More interesting than
Dewey and Russell.

You are a bouquet of flowers,
The sound of swift laughter,
Sun on the parkway.
But they tell you
the next performance schedule:
marriage, children.

Why couldn’t they have just let you play?

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