Last night I did a radio reading. I could hear myself echo back into my ear, as if my words were making fun of me.
I think they were.
I felt as if I were talking to the air, and only I was listening. An eerie feeling.
As soon as it was over, I wanted to fix it, make it better.
So much of conversation is like that. So many words get sent out into the air, wishing they had a second chance . . .
At night I dreamt I was back in first grade. I had a solo, and I started singing all the wrong words. I woke up in a sweat, remembering the concert exactly. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I was all dressed up in black velvet with silky red ribbons in my hair. I felt like a movie star, and I wanted to be sure everyone heard me. So I sang as loud as I could: I had grits and eggs for breakfast. My cow, Mildred, died last week. She got the bloat.
I think I was supposed to be singing Deck the Halls . . .
That night my mother told me it's eggs, not aay-eggs. My father phoned Mrs. Wallace, my first grade teacher, and asked her never to give me a solo again.
AWP in Minneapolis, and recommended reading
1 month ago