Ella’s Song


Nancy Lynn Weber

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 111 in 2006.

The silver lamé looks good on you
the little black dress fits just right
you'll grow as it grows so,

can I have that black dress?

You are thirty-nine and very surprised
you told the doctor you had a tumor

but the tumor has two eyes

and you are very surprised.
How can this be at thirty-nine?

Just like it was when you were twenty-one.
It was the forties so it wasn't your fault
honeymoon sheets hung on the line
so you stole away to New York
to figure it out yourself.

It was hard so you failed
after drinks at Jack Dempsey's
before breakfast at the Taft
Ella sang two sultry sets
you got her autograph but no information
arrived home sweaty happy blind
little black dress gathering
in all the wrong places.