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by Buzz Mauro

Originally published by Adirondack Review

I never worshipped Judy Garland
but she graced a dream of mine
anyway, signing her autobiography
in a cozy little bookstore
we both loved. She gleamed
the grateful smile of her youth
and her complexion was flawless
except for a large purple burn
on her forehead and left eye.
She was reminiscing with a friend
who sometimes was me and when it was
she looked into me with more love
than was due any fan
and I realized that was how
she looked at all of us. I said,
you’ve had a dreadful life.
She lifted her eyes
to think how to describe her awful Oz,
then came back to say yes,
a rough life. You
(she meant her friend, a Hazel or Maureen,
who wore a sharp forties suit and hat like her,
but was also me), you didn’t, did you?
The friend lifted a finger to retort
then stopped. Judy smiled forgivingly.
I crossed over into pain one day,
she said to us, and you crossed
the other way, you lovely thing you.

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