fly away

“if you love me let me know” was among those 8-tracks taken from the glove compartment of our old yellow duster and tossed into the grass, all the tape unraveled, on the first day of spring when i was about 7. broke my heart to see the label soaked with dew, olivia newton-john’s serious and pretty face warped and running like that.

the river’s too wide now for crossin…

she recorded a duet with john denver called “fly away.” when her part comes on, my dad takes a puff on his cigarette and stares me down.
“sing, damnit!”
i am only as tall as the back of our cheap black Spanish recliner then. i stand behind it with my hands on leather singing i love the sea ~ and where is the springtime?  and i match her perfectly. she is my first favorite female singer.
my dad snuffs out his cigarette in the metal cup of a beanbag ashtray i’ll have to dump later as part of my chores, and he turns to my mother. “goddamn, judy,” he says, blowing the last lung full of smoke just over my forehead, “kid’s got an ear.”
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