“Me and Joni” by Donna Reis

Donna Reis


On rare occasions, I cook dinner.
I pick a dependable recipe, shop,
buy wine and set a glorious table.
I like to sip a glass of wine while
I prepare, and then another, and
if my husband still hasn’t arrived
I’ll have another and turn up Joni Mitchell
so loud that the wok shimmies
on its own. Then I dim the lights
so people driving by won’t see me
play air-guitar and belting,
It’s coming on Christmas
They‘re cutting down trees
They‘re putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on ….

Inevitably, my husband walks in
at this moment unnoticed, because
I’m deafened by my fans’ din.
I am Joni Mitchell on stage
dressed in leather and lace, I am Joni
standing on the rocky coastline
nude, showing my slender ass
to anyone who buys my music.
From the landing into the kitchen,
my husband smiles at my secret stardom.
Lord, you loved me so naughty
Made me weak in the knees
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on.

There is no stopping me now.
Do you want-do you want-do
you want
To dance with me baby

I pour him a glass of wine,
Oh, I could drink a case of you, darling
And I would still be on my feet
I would still be on my feet.

Dinner is ready,
Come to the dinner gong
The table is laden high
Fat bellies and hungry little ones
Tuck your napkins in
And take your share….

My husband sits down
regarding me like a member of the court
coaxed to admire the emperor’s new clothes.
What the hell,
I fell into a dream
You sat up all the night and watched me
To see, who in the world I might be…

from Rattle #22, Winter 2004

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