I never worshipped Judy Garland
but she graced a dream of mine
anyway, signing her autobiography
in a cozy little bookstore
we both loved. She gleamed
the grateful smile of her youth
and her complexion was flawless
except for a large purple burn
on her forehead and left eye.
She was reminiscing with a friend
who sometimes was me and when it was
she looked into me with more love
than was due any fan
and I realized that was how
she looked at all of us. I said,
you’ve had a dreadful life.
She lifted her eyes
to think how to describe her awful Oz,
then came back to say yes,
a rough life. You
(she meant her friend, a Hazel or Maureen,
who wore a sharp forties suit and hat like her,
but was also me), you didn’t, did you?
The friend lifted a finger to retort
then stopped. Judy smiled forgivingly.
I crossed over into pain one day,
she said to us, and you crossed
the other way, you lovely thing you.
BUZZ MAURO works as an actor and acting teacher in Washington, DC. His stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tampa Review, Tar River Poetry, Poet Lore, River Styx, New Orleans Review and other magazines.