THE WISH by Ira Marlowe

My fairy godmother
Is a different girl --
Black shirt, white tie, velvet gloves,
Graying curls.
She smokes those long, dark cigarettes
That burn like tar and licorice,
Stands by the beggerman’s fountain,
Drops a coin, says, “Make a wish.
Make a wish, kid.
Make a wish, kid.”

Just for a day,
Take me alive,
Take me away.

This isn’t the first time
She’s called out my name,
But I lost my nerve and she faded away
Like a dying flame,
And now she’s come from years away
Where I left my dreams behind.
She says, “Baby, there’s an easy way,
And you ain’t got much time.
Make a wish, kid.
Make a wish, kid.
Then you’re mine.”


I asked, “What’s the difference --
A wish or a prayer?
I’ve searched high and low, but I stopped long ago.
Now I no longer care.
But sometimes on the darkest nights,
I still see my lover’s eyes.
Now I wish to be free from that pitiful dream
That touches me sometimes.”

My fairy godmother,
She made no reply.
Then finally she spoke as I stood in the smoke
Of her flickering eyes,
“If you’re prepared to walk this earth
Without the smallest dream,
Ain’t nothin’ hell could show you,
You ain’t already seen.
Make a wish, kid.
Make a wish, kid.
This one’s on me.”


Available from SIBL (Songs Inspired by Literature)