When Alison shuffles up on a playlist, or in a store, or on the radio, I take it as a sign: There’s my song. A sign of what, who knows, other than that it brings me back to high school, waitressing at Friendly Ice Cream, and the guy at the counter who said Elvis Costello wrote a song about you, you know.
Someone wrote a song about me? And he even spelled it with one l.
Something changed, in a tiny way, for the better that night, as it did the night someone told me, at a wedding where I’d avoided them all weekend, that they had, despite how it seemed, truly loved me all that time ago. The way it changed when, going through a giant bin of old letters, I found one signed We all adore you, from a troubled time. It takes so little, sometimes, to reshape the past.
Wrong Turn, by Luci Shaw
I took a wrong turn the other day.
A mistake, but it led me to the shop where I found
the very thing I’d been searching for.
With my brother I opened a packet
of old letters from my mother and saw a side of her
that sweetened what had been deeply sour.
Later that day the radio sang a song from
a time when I was discovering love,
and folded me into itself again.