With soft brown eyes, auburn hair
braided to his waist,
the classical guitarist smiles from the stage,
his nimble fingers plucking taut strings.
I imagine he is beaming at me,
sending that I-see-you–invitation my way,
the one that says, Meet me after the performance,
let me play a special song for you.

Without warning, I am fourteen again
on the deck of a fishing boat with my parents.
Squared sailor hat on my head, braces on my teeth,
I grin at the handsome first mate,
curly blond-haired siren with clear blue eyes.
One kind comment from him and the fantasy begins—
maybe he will ask me out, maybe a dance
or a kiss out on the bow of the boat.

Fourteen or sixty-four, it takes one smile
for pimples or braces, wrinkles or bifocals
to disappear and fancy to come alive.
In an instant, I am Rapunzel
waiting to let down my hair.
I am Cinderella sliding my slender foot
into the crystal slipper.

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