Hollywood soothes me with Tom Hanks
and Meg Ryan, the cutest pair ever to
not know that even though they hate
each other, they’ve found love in simpatico
online chats. Bing! You’ve got mail!
Where has that film gone? A year since
I last found it, oh how I miss Meg’s I wanted
it to be you so badly before Tom tells her
Don’t cry (he pauses) Shopgirl, wipes her
eyes with his folded handkerchief, kisses her
with pent-up passion while “Over the Rainbow”
blares around them in a flower-filled Manhattan
park, no one else in sight. An affable Retriever,
teeth on Tom’s jacket, barks the rhythm.
Cut to cloudless sky.…….The End.
As I approach vintage years, newness unnerves
me. I seek solace from the familiar: reruns, frayed
blankets, warmth from the sofa corner shaped
by the weight of my curled body in torn pajama
bottoms and a ten-year-old t-shirt that boasts
I took a steam train through the Sierras.
Channel surf. No luck.
Come back to the den,
Meg and Tom. Comfort me.
Dressed for Life
Sometimes she takes beautiful me from the closet to try me on. It still fits, she tells her reflection. Very Madmen, says her daughter. I’ve traveled with her to three homes, to dwell in darkness of three closets with other memories. She couldn’t afford me then, she couldn’t now, but you should have seen her mother’s face when she pulled me over her head, zipped me, said I love it, I love it, and even though my name was French—Louis Fereaud—and I cost almost as much as her wedding gown from Henri Bendel on Fifty-Seventh, I found myself in a garment bag. Her going-away dress. I’d take her to her new life with the man in the white dinner jacket after a night of Chateaubriand and Baked Alaska, after the last photo where he’d lifted her high in his arms under the synagogue awning, her veil-like wings behind her. I’d waited on her bed where she’d slept alone the night before and then: she rushed in, traded the gown for elegant me, black and white silk with red flower buttons. She laid the veil on the pillow, tossed her sling-backs onto the floor, slipped into white patent leather pumps, picked up the matching purse, knelt down to kiss her Boston Terrier goodbye, and rode off to the Saddle Brook Marriott, ten minutes away, where I deferred to the pink gauze peignoir she preferred.
© Gail Fishman Gerwin
Gail Fishman Gerwin’s poetry, book reviews, fiction, essays, and plays appear in literary journals, other publications, and on stage. Ms. Gerwin’s first collection, Sugar and Sand, was a Paterson Poetry Prize finalist in 2010. Her second collection, Dear Kinfolk, (ChayaCairn Press—www.chayacairnpress.com), earned a 2013 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. Blue Mountain Arts recently included one of her poems in the anthology, Nothing fills the Heart with Joy like a Grandson. She is associate poetry editor of Tiferet. Gail founded inedit, a writing/editing firm in Morristown, NJ.