We sat in canvas chairs watching
The Fiddler on the Roof under the stars
on the evening of a hot day
an unexpectedly cool breeze
traveling through the park
crescent moon lazing
behind a cottonwood tree.
Just a local amateur production
with plenty of off-key singing but
evocative nonetheless. And I flipped
easily through my brain’s catalog
of evenings spent just like this
as a girl in the free seats at the St. Louis
Muny Opera with my mother my aunt
my sisters and later my best friend
once or even twice in the ticketed seats.
The night air blew through in just this way
that same moon hung above just like this
cottonwoods swayed beyond the stage
the sky took on that very shade of blue and
eventually the first star popped out for a wish.
My dreamy girl’s heart opened wide back then
to the romances played out onstage and I
longed for my own imagined future
in which True Love won out grandly over
the mundane of everyday life.
The love I was absolutely certain I’d
one day have; the mundane never.