the moving-in-brooklyn blues  by Lindsey Trout Hughes

by Mark Chmiel

“Master Sigh” on the record player and
August finds me in the kitchen to tell me
that these sounds make him so so sad
“Do they make you sad too, Mama?”
“No, baby. These sounds make me happy.”
I meet him on the floor
on the old rug in the new home
and we are in a cave
enclosed and safe among
moving boxes
a den of cardboard
I open my arms
he rushes in
the way he always does
with abandon and relief
I cradle him
his fevered cheeks against mine
and tell him what these sounds
remind me of
They remind me of
the nicest mornings
when I wake with the light and roll
into it all
as the sun comes up
and listen to the birds while the whole world
is beginning again
and I’m warm and the people I love most
in the world are all sleeping in this bed
with me and with two fat cats
both as gray as this spring has been
and we’re all there in our half-sleep
with way too many blankets
I tell him this is why the song
makes me happy
“Okay,” he says. “But Mama—
this song reminds me of being in your belly.”
And he’s right—
I did listen to this record
on loop for nine months
before I switched to Leonard Cohen’s Greatest
after giving birth
because what else
do you listen to at 4 in the morning
at the end of December
when you don’t know who you are
It’s true
that I laid next to the record player
with my swelling belly
and listened to this very whistling
again and again
“You remember this song from back then?”
“Yes.”
“Do you miss it there?”
“Yes. I miss it a lot, Mama. This is why I’m sad.”
We all miss our old homes sometimes
I tell him
I turn off the record player and
sing a new song and know
there are some special breeds of nostalgia
no tune can fix

Lindsey is taking my on-line class, Be in Love with Yr Life.

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