pink fluffy clouds

I Watched a Romcom, Then Dreamt of Heaven

Neoclassical? Greek Revival? I will have to look it up, but it’s
one of those old Southern confections, double row of oaks,
Spanish moss, columns. Just one of many entry points. This one
happens to conform to romcom standards. I’m quite certain

it was in terrible repair when the young woman unwillingly
returned to her small hometown, but she and the guy shined
it right up after overcoming the things about each other
they initially hated. Just inside however

is the first hint that things aren’t what they seem.
Less a foyer and more a grand ballroom. It had
two stories on the outside, but in here it reaches up
eighteen or forty, with wrap-around galleries stretching
into the mist. The house requires staging area, and here
(speaking of stages) comes the showman. Everyone looks up
and several floors above in a spill of sun he steps

onto the wire. It’s stretched gallery to gallery over our heads
and by the sudden intake of breath he knows the newcomers
are thrilled and suddenly more anxious, even, than they were
on arrival. He’ll address that momentarily, but for now
he walks, slowly. Pretends to falter, grins down. We are
transfixed. But feeling better—we know this pattern, this gift.
We are not abandoned. We are coming home, perhaps.

Later we’ll know the trick of it, we’ll see him in grubby sweats
walking his German shepherd along the high wire. The dog will
(predictably) get loose up there and gallop free, scattering birds.
Everyone will look up and smile.

The showman’s bit is (often) interrupted by the arrival commotion
of the woman in the wheelchair and her entourage. The front stairs
are irrelevant, she’s here now and requires a fuss. Imperious
and demanding at first, she catches my eye and grins and I feel—
I know this story. Later she may amble freely if she has
forgotten not to. Which is the key in my hand, the key.
It’s so easy to forget and linger. And guess what? You’re

allowed. You’re included, unlinked. Part of the ensemble
should you choose. Wishful thinking is the rule, and calendars
are too soft to hold in your hands, with a tendency toward
melting. But meeting moments are frequent and pleasurable
and it’s easy to fall in love, in love, in more love.

You won’t have your shit together but you won’t need luck,
just comic relief and a good soundtrack. Find your sidekick,
your best friends. They will share what you need to know,
grin and wink. Stick around and learn the secrets. For instance
the showman and the woman in the wheelchair? They’re
a couple. This town loves them. And absolutely everyone

knows how to run a wildly successful bakery, bookshop,
B-and-B spa cafe garden center wedding catering business.
They often don’t, because they can do better magic
than that. So revel in every turning point (even breakups,

which are also melty and thus temporary, time-porary). Love
lasts here, joy lasts. But time struggles so there’s
really no need to give it a second thought right this
second, or even later (which is already evaporating
in this fierce light). Be swept away by love, coming home.
You’ll know me by my wink and grin.



I wrote this poem in December, 2020, and it was originally published by Literary Yard in April, 2021.

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