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If wishes were granted

I’d want to list

The things that have brought me

Unadulterated bliss


I miss my sister

And our manic tickling fights.

She came after me with feathers

In the middle of the night.


We used to Lindy together

And drink Manhattans at noon.

Grandma would serve sweet vermouth

In teacups, with spoons.


She’d bring us baguettes

And spread lots of brie.

Who’s better than a grandmere

With a French joie de vie?


I’d love to go back to the Bronx

To watch Mays and Mantle play.

Put me in Coach,

It’s Old Timers’ Day.


Let me break bread

With Grandpa’s theatrical folk,

Heaving bosoms spilling out of ball gowns,

And men in Italian bespoke.


Once more into the brink

At Daddy’s studio switchboard,

Where I disconnected clients,

And left Bette Davis unmoored.


Can I sneak back to that editorial meeting

When Capote bent gender,

And regaled us with tales

Drenched in sartorial splendor.


I miss Tante Emilie’s letters,

Aunt Marge’s basil with olive oil and tomatoes,

And Mommy’s meatloaf on a platter,

Surrounded by potatoes.


When you reflect on your own life.

And what touched your heart,

If wishes were cookies,

Which one would you want?



By Barbara Shields



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